Why rituals and routine matter for creativity

Creativity is often viewed as something that exists beyond the structures we apply to other aspects of our lives, yet here Leadership Coach Tanya Livesey argues that introducing routine into your creative process may be surprisingly fruitful

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you at work.” Picasso

For anyone who has ever engaged in a creative career, the struggle to find the right moment and state of mind to wrestle out one’s ideas can be a constant battle. According to publishing entrepreneur, Vitaly Friedman: “The beauty of good ideas lies in their unpredictability … you can’t come up with just the right sparkle of innovation at just the right time.” This chimes with the notion that creativity is chaotic and irrational, rather than the product of human application.

The ancient Greeks proposed inspiration came from the gods and their muses, who supervised human creativity. Socrates wrote that creativity only happened when the chosen vessel was “bereft of his senses” – as if thinking might prevent the reception of divinely inspired revelations. Even the word ‘inspiration’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘god breathed’.