Creativity Reading 3: Rule of 4

I’ve never realized how much of my academic career has been so dependent on lists until recently. I obsess over to-do lists, I need grocery lists to be able to walk through the store and not buy the entire place and I have had to study multitude of lists of related terms for classes.

One class-related list is part of my Creativity class reading in Goff’s book, Everyday Creativity. There are four creative abilities. They are Fluency, Flexibility, Originality and Elaboration.

Fluency is the generation of as many ideas, solutions and alternatives because this helps find the most useful answer. I never really thought of creativity in this way of mass idea creation because of how I previously said in other posts that I thought of it as more an “ah ha” moment. Goff encourages that fluency works with brainstorming and that no idea should be turned down in this phase. You won’t know what sticks unless you throw it at the wall.

Flexibility is something that I struggle with at times when it comes to creating because I can get very one-track minded. If I think of one kind of idea I have a hard time varying from it and trying to bend it in more than one direction. Creativity is like Gumby that way in which you have to just let the idea process shape you at times and not worry about being stiff. The SCAMPER technique that Goff brings up really helped me realize the multiple ways you can Substitute or Reverse, etc. different elements of ideas to jumpstart that creative process.

Originality is very self explanatory, but its very hard to carry out. I tend to think in terms of fashion and most designs are inspired or some sort of revamping of something done before. So thinking of something completely new is incredibly difficult. I found this to be so true especially when I was trying to think of magazine ideas for my Magazine Publishing capstone and I would search and see that my idea was already sort of done. When originality fails you have to fall back on some of the other creative abilities to build off of existing ideas.

Elaboration is probably the creative ability I excel at because I am known to draw things out or explain them at length. I never realized how my mom yelling at me to stop over explaining might actually be useful in creating more details and solidifying a creative idea. Working through details and figuring out how to embellish it is the best way to make it successful.

These creative abilities are things I usually do subconsciously but learning about them has opened my eyes on how to use them effectively. It’s so fascinating how actively thinking about your thinking can help open you up to even more ideas.



One thought on “Creativity Reading 3: Rule of 4

  1. I’m pleased that you’re thinking about your thinking and finding that awareness useful! It’s hard to use tools when we don’t know we have them.

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