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Open Process Creativity
By Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008

As a creator, it is always tempting to only include good things in a project – to only do it right and struggle against difficulties or failures. It is truly counter-productive. It takes all of it to create a new thing that has, “never been done before.” The process requires “good” things and “bad” things to accomplish the task. It requires using the “not right” ways when appropriate or weaving them into the project when they happen by mistake. Errors must be somehow accommodated – by embracing them, struggling against them, incorporating them or using them later for a more appropriate use, time and place. All of it is necessary.

To circumvent the process by defining what works or does not work because it is “good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong” before acquiring practical knowledge is a waste. This process is not intended to follow in the footsteps of another, but to break new ground. Open judgement is the course to produce results or, at the least, suspended judgment and subsequent analysis is needed. To learn what works, it must be tried. To do so risks failure. To not do so risks incomplete or inaccurate results.

The creative process in this form is an inclusive process. Rather than excluding what doesn’t work once those are discovered, they are embraced, analyzed for components and set aside to be carried forward in something somewhere. They are kept in reserve. And, if they produce results in the project that are desirable, then mistakes and failures are kept. It is an inclusive process.

This type of creator’s process is different than producing a theory and then using known elements to support it. In the first place, there is no theory to create a support to accommodate and in the second place, there is no working premise at the beginning of the process. There are goals, sometimes constraints of time and variables to consider but that is all. It is an open-ended question and an open process of creating solutions to fit those specifics.