First Insight, Blogging, and the R-mode

Yesterday I went to the fifth session of a class I’m taking at the Loft. The class is called “The Writing Habit,” it’s taught by Rosanne Bane, who works as a coach and creativity instructor. So far I’ve really enjoyed the course. Last weeks discussion about priority setting and Getting Things Done by David Allen spurred me to orgainize a significant portion of the crap that had accumulated in my ‘inbox.’

This most recent class was focused on the stages of the creative process. Riffing on ideas I’ve seen elsewhere and which Bane borrowed from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Bane laid out six stages for creativity: first insight, immersion, incubation, illumination, verification, and hibernation. The most interesting discovery I made was a preference for first insight. I love finding new and novel ideas, whether they be books, music, or weblogs. This is probably why I’ve added hundreds of feeds to my news aggregator even if I only regularly read 50 or so. I also use a bookmark manager program that contains a couple of hundred addresses. On the web I have accounts at del.icio.us and Furl. On my personal computer I have four or five different text editors, because the frisson of discovery was so enjoyable.

It’s also relatively easy for me to fall into the immersion phase, where the focus is on gathering information or books about a particular subject. I went through this stage with chess earlier this year, now my interest has fallen off a bit, as my magpie tendencies look out for the next discovery.

The challenge and difficulty is moving beyond these early stages of the creative process to the drudgery of the actual production phase. I think this may be part of the reason why I’ve let my weblog lie fallow for the past year or so.

We also discussed the link between the stages of creativity and preferred thinking modes, especially the right/left brain division. Twenty years ago I would probably have identified myself as a L-mode thinker, logicial, rational. Now I think the R-mode has come to the fore. I’ve always been an intuitive thinker. But now that intuition has become an end in itself. It’s time to find some structure that will send the thoughts out into the world.