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 FIVE ELEMENTS OF CREATION

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MAJOR(R)KHALID NASR
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PostSubject: FIVE ELEMENTS OF CREATION   Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:55 am

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Home Success The Five Elements of Creation

The Five Elements of Creation
By Paul Keetch
If you're anything like me, the creative process can be at times the most gratifying experience imaginable. Everything comes together in a flurry of creative activity, you enter a "Flow" state where time seems to stand still and nothing else but what you're working on exists in that moment of time.
The flip-side is that sometimes the blank page, screen or canvas stares back at you and seems to laugh at your inability to produce. These moments feel agonizingly long, every little thing distracts you and nothing gets produced.
During those times it can be extremely challenging to be "okay" with the result (or lack of result) that you're getting. But when you begin to understand the five elements of creation you can analyze your situation, understand which of the five elements you are currently involved in and, possibly, revisit one of the previous elements to reinvigorate your creative energy.
The five elements of creationare:
1. Information Gathering
This is the foraging element of creation when you gather as much information and inspiration as possible. This can include researching related material, interviewing experts or brainstorming ideas, possible angles of approach, etc.
Information gathering is where we must all start if we want to produce something that is both coherent and useful to whoever is going to consume, utilize or appreciate what we're creating. The process of information gathering should be done without prejudice, which simply means that you gather anything and everything that may be of relevance, without specifically analyzing it.

2. Sifting & Qualifying
This element is where you sort your information more thoroughly and qualify whether it is relevant to you at this time, or not. It is where you delve into the practicality and the relative usefulness of all the information and ideas you gathered or brainstormed in the first step.
By sifting and qualifying you become more familiar with the usefulness of the good information while excluding the non-useful or currently irrelevant items. An important note here is to hang on to the information you are discarding for your current project, as it may become useful when working on another project down the line.

3. Gestation Period
Think of this is as the time during which you are inactively processing all of the information you've gathered and sorted. It's like the caterpillar in the cocoon or the egg sitting in incubation beneath the mother hen awaiting birth.
During the gestation period you may seem or feel to be in active as it relates to your creative project, but your mind is working on the problem at a deeper level than your conscious mind. Your subconscious self can make connections in a way that your conscious mind cannot, making this an imperative element of the creative process.

4. Creative Production
As you can probably imagine, this is the practical element of creation after the "a-ha!" moment has arrived and you set pen to paper, keys to keyboard, brush to canvas, etc. It is the period where you are actively producing or creating whatever thing it is that you are working on.
In this phase of creation it continues to be important that you not edit or censor yourself too harshly - there will be plenty of time for that later! What's important here is the physical act of capturing your creation in whatever form calls to you. Whether you are writing, sketching, orating or designing, this is the active part of creation and is often the most fun and engaging.



5. Editing
The final phase of the process is the editing portion where you go over the work you've produced with an editor's eye (or ear) to ensure that the final product delivers on the initial intent with which you started work in the first place. During this phase you may or may not solicit feedback from others, particularly if they are either experts or your target audience.


Once completed you may have identified changes that need to be made and may choose to go back into the Creative Production phase to re-produce your product. It is a well-known fact that many books are written and re-written several times before they ever make it to the final printed version. Even then errors and inconsistencies are often found and corrected in later revisions of the work.
It is possible, even likely, that you will revisit one or more of the five elements of creation at least once, particularly the creative production and editing phases, although you may find that you are able to complete an initial portion and must then go back into gestation for some period of time to allow the next phase to reveal itself.

The power of knowing these five elements of creation truly lies in being able to plan them accordingly and to identify which phase you are in if and when you get stuck at any point along the way. Revisiting the initial information gathering phase or reviewing some of your discarded research could spark an idea or concept that allows you to go back into production mode quickly and with energy.

Your Action Step is to see if you can identify which of the five elements or phases you are currently engaged in as they relate to a creative project you are working on either at home or at work and see if you have missed any previous steps. It is an all-too-common mistake to try and jump straight into creative production, which is as sure a recipe for frustration as any I can imagine.

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WISHING YOU HEALTH & HAPPINESS. MAJOR (R) KHALID NASR
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