Remember how Wuthering Heights has this weird structure where it’s really a story told to someone who tells it to someone who tells us? (I may have lost track there.) Here’s a story where I’m telling you something Time magazine says author Keith Sawyer recounts the story of researcher Vera John-Steiner who talked to creative geniuses.
She asked ’em “What nourishes sustained productivity in the lives of creative individuals?“ and she expected some bits about eurekas. Instead:
Creativity started with the notebooks’ sketches and jottings, and only later resulted in a pure, powerful idea. The one characteristic that all of these creatives shared— whether they were painters, actors, or scientists— was how often they put their early thoughts and inklings out into the world, in sketches, dashed-off phrases and observations, bits of dialogue, and quick prototypes. Instead of arriving in one giant leap, great creations emerged by zigs and zags as their creators engaged over and over again with these externalized images.
Strokes of Genius: Here’s How the Most Creative People Get Their Ideas – Eric Barker, Time (21 June 2014)