Creativity is a Verb, and feels like Hard Work – insight from Jonah Lehrer, Imagine

I have now read enough about creativity to know that we have our work cut out for us.

What we think, what we wish, is that creative ideas just fall from the sky in blinding moments of inspiration.  That does happen, but…  But, just as Twyla Tharp says in The Creative Habit, and Jonah Lehrer confirms in his thorough study of creativity, creative breakthroughs are the result of specific practices (“habits”), serious attention to work places, and work styles, and many, many interactions and connections, and work discipline…

Yes, breakthroughs may come suddenly, but they come at the end of some very hard and serious work.  And then, when the breakthrough arrives, there is much more hard work to do to turn the idea into something real.  Here’ s a key quote from the Lehrer book:

I think people need to be reminded that creativity is a verb, a very time-consuming verb. It’s about taking an idea in your head, and transforming that idea into something real. And that’s always going to be a long and difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work.”

Our future depends on our creative work leading to those creative breakthroughs.  So, we all need to get to work…


If you are in the DFW area, come join us this Friday, May 4, at the First Friday Book Synopsis.  I will present my synopsis of Imagine:  How Creativity Works, and Karl Krayer will present his synopsis of Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success by Rory Vaden.  7:00 am at the Park City Club.  Click here to register.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *