In Seth Godin’s book “The Practice“, he says:
Creativity is a choice, it’s not a bolt of lightning from somewhere else.
I 99% agree with him.
My 1% disagreement stems from the times where creativity essentially does come out of nowhere. Some of the posts on here and some projects I’ve created in my life have essentially been from bolts of lightning. I don’t think it’s fair to say that they came from “nowhere”, as they’re attributed to things that I had recently seen or heard, but the final idea struck me in the shower or in the car or somewhere when I wasn’t actively looking for an idea.
The problem, which is part of what Seth is trying to share, is that you can’t rely on lightning to generate creativity. I can imagine that it wouldn’t go well for us to tell a client “we’ll start working on your website design whenever a good idea hits us!“
Related, you can look at the cadence of posts on this blog. Prior to the last three years, I’d generally write “when I had a good idea”, and it was very sporadic. This blog goes back to 2004, but there are a lot of empty months with no posts created for a long time.
Consistency wins. By forcing myself to publish a post every day, many more great ideas come out. I’m fully convinced that I post a good number of “duds” on here, but I’m also writing other solid posts that wouldn’t have existed if I didn’t develop this consistency.
I love when bolts of lightning strike, and I always keep my eye open for them, but I’m not just going to sit around and wait for the next one.