5 Stages of Creativity and the Creativity Gap – #2 DECIDE

Creativity Gap Stage 2 DecideThe Creativity Gap is any point in the creative process where you fall off the wagon – the spots between dream and do where you get derailed. 

Since Graham Wallas’ 1926 model of the creative process, the first of its kind, the focus of creativity has been on the process, not the person. In this series, The 5 Stages of Creativity & You, I focus on the processes you go through during each stage of the creative process and show you how, why and where you may teeter and are in danger of falling into the Creativity Gap. The focus today is on Stage 2 – Decide


DECIDE sounds like an easy stage of the creative process – like the Nike slogan, JUST DO IT. All you need to do is to decide to create and then start. But you and I know it isn’t that simple.

It isn’t that simple because in the DECIDE stage of creativity what is really involved is a myriad and complex network of intertwined decisions that you may not even be aware of. The DECIDE stage may be the key stage keeping you from your art because it is a minefield of Creativity Gaps.

To DECIDE to create is to take into consideration:

time – when to create
space – where to create
how– what skills, medium & materials to use or acquire
relationships – who will be interrupted or impacted by your creative efforts and how
health – how much energy is available for creative expression

And from each of these decisions tumbles more decision-making questions, widening the gap even further, making it seem impossible to cross. It’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed and unable to get started. I have spent years dissecting what was keeping me from doing the things I love – creating, making art, writing. It wasn’t until I knew what was stopping me that I could move from inaction to action by creating and using practical, physical and mental solutions. I know how you feel and what you are going through. 

And now comes the best part. I want to let you know that I am working on something that will gently (with a touch of kick-ass mom-talk) help you navigate the five stages of creativity to help you build bodacious barriers, raise rock-solid bridges and establish clear and caring boundaries around and over all the Creativity Gaps you regularly face.

I want what you want – to bring more art into your life. 

If this sounds like something you may be interested in and you want more information as it unfolds, add your name to my early interest, no obligation Closing the Creativity Gap email list.

Click right here, right now.

When or where have you experienced teetering or falling into the Creativity Gap in Stage 2? Join the Creative Conversation. Leave a comment, share your thoughts, solution or insight. Together we can bridge the gap.

Next week discover where the Creativity Gaps lie in Stage 3 – Do

Creative Conversation 
with Betsy Akins

“…it is hard to let myself actually make things just because I enjoy it.”

Thank you for this wonderful message that calls creative expression an “unnamed longing.” I too am disturbed about our society’s emphasis on the achievements and expressions of others. Your confirmation that it is a need really resonates with me.

As an RN who has put the needs of others way before my own (for decades) at great sacrifice, it is hard to let myself actually make things just because I enjoy it. (I once read about another RN who combines being a maker with work, and calls it “creating and caring.”)

I also appreciated your mention of the way creative expression enriches our lives and the lives of those we love, as that thought further affirms that fulfilling this longing is valid and is a basic need.

If you would like to join in the Creative Conversation, please comment below.


  1. Lesley,
    I enjoy reading your blog/emails. Thank you so much for including “health” in you blog on Stage 2 #Decide.
    I cannot work and my children are grown, I finally have the time to create but due to health reasons don’t always have the drive. It is a position I never thought I would be in. There is a lot of frustration. But you, by including that one little word in your blog, I know you know what I am going through, Thanks again.

    • Lesley Riley says:

      Yes, Susan, I recognize that health can be an issue as I have experienced it first hand. It can be a issue of self-care, not an excuse.