monogram with initials UKR

Trust The Process Of Creativity

Updated: Under: life Tags: #100wd

At times when it comes to explaining my personal process for problem-solving I get anxious. Not because I’m about to spew some disingenuous idea but the fact how uninvolved it sounds.

The Process

“Uninvolved?” you may ask, let me explain in brief. It starts with observing the problem, and then I do nothing-at-all… Given a bit or a-lot of time I’d be presented with a solution, or in most cases an approach that leads to the solution.

Yes it does sound underwhelming, it doesn’t sound like a process at all. Until a couple of days I was baffled and frankly ashamed by this. That’s the point I discovered “Four Stages Of Control”.

Four Stages Of Control

“Four Stages Of Control” is a formalized creative process penned by psychologist Graham Walla in his 1926 book “The Art Of Thought”. Unlike what common-sense might dictate, his model spans the process in both action and inaction(more on this later). These are the four stages.

  • Preparation → Focus and attention paid to the subject.
  • Incubation → Leaving the subject to let it absorb passively.
  • Illumination → The sudden moment of insight!
  • Verification → Verifying illumination and producing work.

Preparation and Verification is quite understandable. Take for example the context of writing. Preparation is the research of a topic and verification is the end-of-the-line where verifying facts and editing takes place. What personally got me in awe was that the stages of Incubation and Illumination can take place and by rule Incubation will take place out of the creative stint. This means you can be sleeping, having breakfast, etc.

Now it doesn’t feel so bad to say “sleep on it” at times!


Yes, this is not a solid framework with the presented facts here. Furthermore, reading this through my engineering glasses sounds preposterous! Which is understandable as that rely on many patterns and rules set in place.

But what is understandable(personally) is giving space to process the knowledge without additional noise or bias. So if you feel like you’re in a creative rut, try to separate your concerns of hitting the end results. Dive into some good material and sleep on it!