3 Versions of a Creative Process That’ll Still Get You Results

3 versions of a creative process that'll still get you results


As I help women be more creative it means I get insight into how it looks for them when they create. You can see 3 versions of the creative process here, but in truth, we all go through our own creating process. Each creative project has it’s own process. Some easier than others.

The whole point of doing creative work is being engaged in the creative process. It’s all about the process. You read interviews with any creative you admire, whether it’s an author, painter, designer or whater, I bet they’ll tell you they love diving into the process of what they do. Once their work is finished and released to the world, they’re on to the next project.

It’s in the creative process you learn about yourself, about your fears and strengths. You learn how to deal with problems and difficulties and you definitely learn how to get your ego in check if you want to do good work.


3 versions of a creative process


Creative process version 1:

You start off excited. New, great idea. You get off to a good start, full steam ahead.

Then you meet a challenge. Shit. You start to doubt. "Is this the right thing? I don't know how to do this. Everyone else seems to be able to do it, I'm doing something wrong."

This is creative chaos. 

Creative chaos is part of any creative process. It will happen. Challenge, mistakes, confusion, comparison, frustration.

It can last for a long time. Most of us give up at this time. 85% of us quit our creative work during creative chaos. Just read that again. 85%! Creative chaos is a stage in the creative process that happens to everyone and it IS going to happen.

But if you stick with the chaos, the frustration, the uncertainty of what you’re doing and how it’s going to turn out....you get to a result. It may be a different result than the one you set out to achieve, but you come through with something. You have finished your porject.

There's a lot of creative chaos in the creative process.

Creative process version 2

This is one long creative chaos. From start to finish and that’s perhaps the hardest process to be in. This can be what it feels like for us multi-passionate creatives who don’t have a clear vision for what we want to do with our lives. I have certainly felt like I’ve been in a state of chaos for long periods of times of my life.

This version of a creative process can also be if you are confused about what to create, maybe you keep changing your mind, and your process feels like one long trial and error until you at some stage, after what could be years, get to a result.

If this is the process you’re in, I urge you to keep taking one small step after another. Just put one foot in front of the other. Tiny steps or a single thought, one sentence in your journal. Keep going because clarity WILL come to you if you keep showing up for figuring this thing out. Don’t quit.


You can try asking your subconscious this question: what do I want?

Keep asking and be patient waiting for the answer. It’ll come in time.

Creative process version 3

This version of a creative process is probably most common to me. It's up and down and up and down. It starts off good, the hit creative chaos, followed by a period of steady work, followed by creative chaos etc. Until eventually, a result is reached.

Creative chaos can last anything from a day to years. I often feel like I’m in constant creative chaos with just a few moments of sunshine and clarity. But this is what makes the creating process so thrilling, interesting and fun. I want to get out of chaos and into a focused thought. That’s when I shoot off like a rocket in my progress and it’s what I live for. (Among other things of course).

I have made an extremely high quality drawing to illustrate the 3 different versions of a creative process!

3 creative processes

Creative chaos

As you may be able to tell, there's a lot of creative chaos in a creative process. I go more into what goes on in creative chaos and how to deal with it in this post. There’s not a lot you can do to avoid creative chaos in your creative process, not perfectionism, diligence, being a good girl, working harder or any other illusion. Chaos - problems, frustration, uncertainty, negative self-talk, fear - will happen and unfortunately most of us quit. I’d love for that not to be you. Because you can absolutely get through it.

I use small steps, lists and more lists, persistance, a love of the process, curiosity of figuring this out and stubbornness to keep going. I’m practicing adding self-kindness to that pile.

There are probably more than 3 versions of a creative process, but these 3  are those I know best. I hope you’ll see yourself in these 3 versions of a creative process and take comfort in the normality of the chaos.

Let me know if you need help.