Expert Author Sarah Schwab
When it involves creating something, are you a planner or an improviser?

In my work, I've began to distinguish between different creative approaches. Some people are far more comfortable with a well-planned and thought out process. Certain projects or situations necessitate this type of approach.

Other people and circumstances involve a more spontaneous experience of the creative process. Its about allowing ideas and expressions to flow through you within the moment.

Stage vs. Street

One of my guilty pleasures is watching So you think that you'll Dance. As a dancer-at-heart, I live vicariously through the amazing people on the show. i really like watching them overcome their fear and provides it their all.

This season, the show has split the contestants into two groups: Stage vs. Street.

What I noticed is that the stage dancers are more on the planned side of creativity. They rehearse their routines, knowing every move beforehand . they're wont to learning choreography, and what they're ready to produce is incredible.

The street dancers are more on the spontaneous side of creativity. They often hit the floor with no real idea of what's getting to begin . They know their style and their core moves, but they're truly within the moment, creating something new ahead of an audience... and a tv camera! that have has it's own power, even beyond the particular dance moves.

When it came time for the road dancers to find out choreography, many of them struggled. that they had never planned their dancing before, to not mention having to find out someone else's steps.

But i might imagine that if the stage dancers were made to improvise something with no preparation, many of them would struggle also .

It's a continuum

You see, the spontaneity of creativity may be a continuum. Okay, that's tons of massive words, but here's what I mean.

Very rarely are some things completely spontaneous or completely planned. There are elements of both.

A speaker who has outlined his talk goes on the stage with an idea , but doesn't know the precise words which will begin of his mouth.

Another speaker may have written their entire speech out, choosing to read it from a podium.

Those two approaches are at different points on the continuum. They also feel different to the audience.

We React Differently

Planned creativity is usually more polished. It strives for perfection. Although we all know that there's no such thing!

Experiencing a highly planned demonstration of creativity can cause the audience to be amazed by the artistry, the ideas, and therefore the talent that's displayed. It also allows the audience to think critically about it, knowing each bit was carefully chosen.

Spontaneous creativity provides a singular experience which will only happen once, and as observers we react thereto differently.

In watching an act of spontaneous creativity, we are drawn in not by the plan to approach perfection, but by the uncertainty of watching the creative process unfold. The vulnerability of the creator brings out our empathy and that we want to support them. We are less likely to guage the result . Instead we simply enjoy the instant .


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