What if we treated our creative impulse like we'd treat a child? Nurturing it, loving it, gently guiding it in the direction that will serve it the best?
I get caught in the trap of thinking my impulses are fully formed and functioning adult ideas. I hope to grow them that way. But, they're just innocent, tiny blossoms when they start. In that way, we could use growing up as a parallel guide for the creative process. It'd look like this:
Infancy: You feel an impulse.
Toddler: You're Testing the boundaries of that impulse.
Child: You're trying on more complicated ideas, more drafts, edits and versions of what you've done so far.
Adolescent: You're pissed. Things sucks. Your idea is stupid and you'll never figure out where to go next.
Young Adult: You've found a little bit more clarity, but there's an angst behind what you're doing: will it work?
Adult: Your idea has fully formed and though you know you'll never truly have answers for all the questions, it's okay by you. You're letting your work live in the questions.
Old age: The wisdom of the process finally reveals itself. Just in time to start again.
I think most of the time, I'm treating my impulse like it's a 24-year old. Where do you fall? Do you find this to be accurate?