Creativity Is Like Mining For Diamonds

Just the other day one of my friends at church asked me: “Terry, you are
a creative
guy, what is it like to always be the one who comes up with fresh new
ideas?” That
was the first time I’d been asked that question and I had to stop and
think for a
minute. Then I blurted out: “It’s a lot of hard work!” “Really,” said my
listener, “it looks so easy. You always seem to pop out with good ideas
with no

Later, as I thought about this conversation, it occurred to me that I could
given a more complete answer so my friend would have a better
understanding of
the real source of what he called: the apparently easy process of getting
fresh, new

Here’s what I came up with in my thinking. First of all, I’ve learned that
thinking is
hard work, much harder than the physical labor of digging ditches. If you
have ever
faced a white artist’s canvas, a block of wood waiting to be carved, or a
computer screen that is waiting for you to fill it with words, then you can
what I’m saying about the hard work of thinking. Before any of those
tasks can be
accomplished, I find I have to spend lots of time thinking about the job to

Over time, I’ve learned to put down my paint brush, my carving knife, or
turn off the
computer – lean back, put my feet up on a footstool, close my eyes and
think. For a
couple of hours I sit there and I mentally shovel into my brain all of the
facts and
impressions I’ve gathered about this project over a lifetime. I try to define
problem by asking myself hundreds of questions. This is what I call my:

Next, I put all of those thoughts aside, get up, take a break and walk
down to the
newsstand to get the paper, I make some phone calls, or go and get a
cup of coffee.
I may even take a short nap. I call this my time of: incubation. (To
incubate is to
keep – as eggs – under conditions favorable for development).

All of this eventually, I stress: eventually, draws my thinking toward a
moment in
time when I get a clear vision – I call it my “aha” moment that suddenly
puts me on
the road to a successful solution to the problem at hand. Let’s call this a
of insight.

Now, my job, my task, is to figuratively pick up this insight and examine
it. I
mentally turn it around and around, in my mind like a cut diamond, and
each facet to determine its value. This process of evaluation requires
more hard
thinking than I want to explain here.

Finally (I bet you thought I’d never get to this), I can begin the exciting
work of
reducing all of these ideas and thoughts to practice, I can begin to make
the idea
real, understandable and useful to others in the form of a nautical
painting, a hand
carved shorebird or an interesting story – such as this. In this way,
(which I see as
very much like mining my brain for diamonds) my creative thoughts and
works are
exposed and made clear to all who may be interested.

If you want to see the practical, physical results of this kind of creativity,
take a look at the work and the creations of Terry who writes

Terry Weber is a retired advertising/direct mail sales letter copywriter and inventor of several useful items. Terry and his wife Doris are Habitat For Humanity, RV Care-A- Vanners who, for the past eight years have volunteered to help build more than 36 houses all over the USA. They travel to and from the 2- week long builds in their RV. The money they make on their website helps them pay their expenses to and from those volunteer Habitat builds. diamond painting tiere

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