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Divergence and convergence

Divergence and convergence describe the two fundamental stages of the creative process.

  • Divergence refers to opening up your senses and taking in information from the outside world. For example, the start of a new project.
  • Convergence refers to shutting off sources of distraction and narrowing your focus to arrive at an end result. It's about drawing conclusions.

Together, these two stages form the backbone of creative work. Using a simple framework can help to purposefully design your environment to support each state of mind.


125 reads


End with the beginning in mind

No creative work is ever truly finished.

A final product or deliverable doesn't mean it is the end. It's just one iteration. The final product of one round of convergence can be used to gather outside feedback as a starting point for the next round of divergence.


87 reads

Know your modes

Divergence and convergence are fundamental to the creative process.

  • Writers diverge by collecting raw material and sketching out potential characters and researching historical facts. They converge by making outlines, laying out plot points, and writing the first draft...


95 reads

Ways you can purposefully converge

  • Decide on a particular deliverable you will produce by a specific time, then discard any information that’s not strictly necessary
  • Set a deadline and promise to deliver a draft to someone who will hold you accountable
  • Make an outline with the step-by-step sequence of points y...


87 reads

Ways to purposefully diverge

  • Stroll through a library or bookstore to see what books draw your attention
  • Browse online communities for unusual ideas
  • Watch movies or documentaries on provocative topics
  • Subscribe to email newsletters, YouTube channels, or podcasts outside your usual listening habit...


90 reads

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While collaborating with others is essential in a creative process, exceptional creativity needs solitude. Interacting and brainstorming in a group is not as deep creatively as shutting down the world and being completely alone with your own craft. Creative people generally tend to be introverts....

Drawing and conflict

When we draw something while we are in conflict, we can map the conflict out and represent it in a safe space - on paper. It creates distance between the conflict and the person.Β 

  • It may reduce tension. It can make people see themselves as builders of their new reality.


Listening and finding colour

  • Listening. Cleaning our emotional house means listening to the world breathe - listen to the birdsong, water melting of roofs, conversations outside on the sidewalk.
  • Finding colour. Get out there, find the colour in the sky and describe the world o...


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