Keith Sawyer tells an interesting story about breakthrough ideas in his book, Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity.
Researcher Vera John-Steiner wanted to know “What nourishes sustained productivity in the lives of creative individuals?“
She interviewed over 70 living creative geniuses and analyzed the notebooks of 50 dead ones (including Tolstoy, Einstein, etc.) to look at their work habits.
She assumed this was going to end up as a review of Eureka! moments in the greatest creative minds.
She even planned to title her book “The Leap” because it would be about those giant flashes of inspiration that led to breakthrough ideas.
But she was completely wrong.
Eureka! moments turned out to be a myth.
There was no inspiration moment where a fully formed answer arrived.
Strokes of genius happened over time.
A great idea comes into the world by drips and drabs, false starts…
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