Creativity is, according to popular perception, a mysterious and magical process.
Creative insight appears suddenly and unpredictably, like a flash of lightning from the heavens. It is impossible, so the common wisdom goes, to know when these creative bolts will strike or how to make them occur more often. Creativity is, as most of us have come to understand it, a random gift from God.
This is the “inspiration theory” of creativity. It is simple, and it is totally wrong.
Let me show you what I mean using one of the most commonly cited examples of this theory: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.