Creativity Is About Process, Not Product

Raise your hand if you’ve ever given up on something because you knew the end result wasn’t going to be what you envisioned.

My hand shot up, in case you were looking for good company.

The human tendency is to pay attention to product, not process. It explains the attraction to quick fixes and productivity hacking. An emphasis on the journey is obliterated in exchange for a singular focus on the outcome.

While this mindset may be functional in multiple realms, it is toxic to creativity.

Creativity is all about the process, not the product. Yet, this outcome oriented mindset is continuously applied, to the detriment of the creative soul. Instead of letting a person thrive while they write great books, paint beautiful scenes, snap great shots, we put our inner creative and the creatives that surround us on a metric system.

How many books have you written? Have they been published? How many copies have been bought?

How often do you pick up your instrument? For how long? Have you played on stage or toured?

How many photos do you take each week? How skilled are you with your editing software? Do people pay you to snap pictures yet?

While not ideal, there are a plethora of places where metrics and outcome based systems carry the most functionality. The creative process is NOT ONE OF THEM.

Creativity is a process that simply needs to occur. Sure, goals might be a good prompt to buckle down and get work done, but the second you start emphasizing the outcome over the art itself, originality starts to die.

Want glorious creative outcomes?

Let someone create.

The most original, beautiful, inspiring work will come when you allow yourself to just be creative. The process itself is healing, soothing, good for the soul. Letting that process run its proper course can’t do anything but improve the outcome rather than harm it.

To all my fellow creatives out there, fall back in love with the process. Your outcomes are wonderful, but the process is life changing.

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