Everyday Creativity: The Process of Creativity & A Look at How That “Really” Applies.

In the book The Creative Brain Ned Hermann outlines the dynamics of the creative process. His take on the creative process is an extension of Graham Wallis’s process, and encompasses the four brain quadrant theory, known as the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument or HBDI.

Hermann and his theory are new to me. Perhaps they are familiar to you. In his book Hermann explains his theory and then teaches us how we can use the understanding of the brain to stimulate creativity.

Hermann’s steps for the creative process are listed below, with some of my thoughts on how we can apply this today. I hope this stimulates ideas.

1. Interest-The entire brain develops areas of interest. Creativity is not limited to areas of art. We can be creative in aspects of organization, planning, technical, emotion, and all areas of the human being.
2. Preparation-This step consists of organizing and developing a plan of action for our interest. Perhaps a key step to our creativity. Preparation for creativity could include life experience, study, research, and education. It’s all of life that gets us ready to create something.
3. Incubation-This involves contemplation, subconscious processing, reflection, mulling, visualization and sensory perception. This is the time period we mull over our idea. While we need this stage, we need to ensure we don’t stay in this stage longer than needed. I wonder how many ideas die in incubation?
4. Illumination-Here the idea is formulated non-verbally. It’s when the light bulb turns on. We know what to do.
5. Verification-This is when we record the idea, check it out and determine if it will solve a problem, or just work. This doesn’t mean we get peoples approval. This means we verify we are on track for what we want to accomplish.
6. Application-We create.

This process does not happen in perfect order. We may move back and forth before we get to illumination, verification or application. The entire process may take years.

The creative process doesn’t just apply to ideas that the world will see.  This can apply to ideas that we apply at home, or in our personal life.  Our home and personal life is important and what we do there is as important as what we do at work and for the world.  Let’s take what we do at home as serious as what we do in our career.

The first thing we can do is look at this process and ask where we are on it?

Do we have ideas that are in process? If not, why? What is keeping us from taking an idea through the creative process.

Are we stuck? Where are we stuck? What can we do to move forward?

I have many interests. Many are in the preparation stage. I want to teach, and become a consultant. I am preparing for that by completing my Master’s degree.

I want to write. I have many ideas for what I want to write. I am reading and taking classes to learn how to be a better writer. I am in a preparation stage, and an incubation stage. I am waiting for illumination.

I want to downsize our home. We want to spend our money on life experiences not a mortgage. To prepare we are saving money to complete repairs and updates. We have plans to put the house up for sell this year, and plans for what we will do next.

My interests span from cooking, to reading, and collections. They are each in different stages. As they develop and grow I am looking for ways to ensure they reach the stage of application.

Let’s keep moving forward. No matter what our interests are they are important. No matter what your goals are they worth pursuing. No matter where you are it’s a great place to create.

Marcy Pedersen


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