Understand creative flows and how to 'ride' the creative process

The truth is, I have a problem. I have a real issue with creativity that I am ashamed of. I don’t want to let other people know because I want them to think good of me. But I have been hiding a secret about creativity that I want you to know about.


I am at the point where I feel like I have to open up and tell the truth.

So in this post, I reveal my deepest secret about creativity. Okay, here it is…


I have too many ideas.

That’s it. As a creative person, I have what’s called rapid ideation where an influx of ideas rush through my mind so fast that I can’t possibly write them all down in time to salvage them all.

Connections are rapidly forming in my mind creating and synthesising unrelated information together to create new and insightful observations and perspectives.

I use this to create mental models for understanding the world. I use it to think up ideas for my blog posts. I use it to think up of interesting businesses or marketing tactics. But it has its weaknesses.

It cripples me when I know I need to finish a blog post that’s 90% done and I just can’t keep going. But, I’ll be happy to spend 3-hours on another idea because it feels more interesting.

This fills me full of guilt and leaves me with some strange feeling inside that I just want to get rid of by going to sleep. I can’t face the fact that I’m wired to continuously create new and novel ideas. But I finally started to embrace it and came up with a unique system to help myself.


I think my creativity system will help you too.

Firstly, I make sure not to pressure myself and I pay special attention to how I talk to myself about my creative work and what needs to be done.

Secondly, I give myself permission to go with the flow. I let myself know I am allowed to burst in another crazy direction as long as I am willing to make it good. I then try to finish the bulk of whatever creative tangent I followed to ensure I gained something from deviating.

It’s like a large open world adventure game with lots of hidden gems and Easter eggs. If you didn’t go exploring you would only get the enjoyment set out in the main story of the game. You’d miss out on the secret treasure chest that has a crazy good weapon that helps you slay all kinds of ugly dragons on your quest.

Thirdly, I make sure that I stay focused on my distraction by embracing it fully and shutting off all other distractions, which is mainly other people begging for my attention. So if someone calls I ignore it or if someone tries to come up to me while I am working I let them know I am focusing and that I must focus no matter what. I don’t let them have an option, I just must focus because I am on an adventure. My own adventure.

You see those are the kinds of words I tell myself. I am on an adventure. I am after some treasure. I must find the secret sword that slays dragons. What does this mean? In a practical sense, it means I actually get a reward from my efforts by the end of it. I receive benefit from my distractions. My own distractions, not distractions from others.


Magical secret about creativity

I’ll let you in on a little magical secret right here. This post is one of those dungeon diving adventures where I was meant to finish off another post I have 90% written. Here is the finished post if you are curious: How to influence people without being sleazy. But you see I had another idea pop into my head and it wasn’t this post it was the start of this other post: Why we want to simultaneously help and destroy the world.

So it was the fact that I caught myself deviating from the ‘sleazy’ post I had mostly written and inspired by the ‘simultaneously help and destroy’ post that I had not written, that I fully completed THIS POST in-between!

You see distractions are good for the creative mind as long as you GET THEM DONE. And as long as they are your OWN distractions that come from within you. Because they aren’t really distractions when they come from within, they are a part of how the creative mind works to solve problems.

But, if you leave too many loose ends then you get a large folder full of ideas that you can’t action because you think of 10 other ideas as you read the idea you are trying to use from your archive.

So my deepest secret about creativity, your treasure, that you detoured to come find from me, is, complete your distractions.

Another way to think of it would be to ‘Ride the wave’. You ride it to the shore. Don’t just bail off your board half way through a nice wave.

Well, it looks like I’m on shore now. I’m going for a walk on the beach now with another idea that just popped into my head: Playing with ideas until you can see them in the world.

Question: What’s your creative process like, do you have a secret about creativity? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.