Incubation

DEFINITION

The name used first by Jacob Getzel (American psychologist) for the third stage in the creative process: mulling over the problem in a sort of chaos of ideas and knowledge, letting go of certainties (forgetting); engaging the intuitive, non-sequential, or global thinking at the core of creativity. This is what some call "breathing room" or "downtime." Although we appear to be most productive when we actively pursue our goals, and a sense of urgency can be as speeding as a healthy eagerness, the most creative amongst us must prepare for this stage of work by giving our imaginations time to dwell upon a situation, indirectly as well as directly, dreaming about it in a seemingly idle way. Beware of attempts to remove such incubation periods from any schedule of creative pursuits.Also see memory.

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