Reopening the David Ulrich* book, inspiration for the recent series of posts on the stages of the creative process, my intent was to discover what he listed as the next stage.

Before I glanced at his answer, I was blindsided by a strong epiphany:

There really are no hard and fast stages in the creative process.

This quickly morphed into another epiphany:

There really are no hard and fast stages in the grief process.

Sheepishly I recalled posts 106-112. My chosen words undoubtedly implied there is “right” order for the creative process to unfold. Even more sheepishly, I recalled how as a psychotherapist, I would hand out copies of a diagram, the Grief Wheel, which I proudly explained to my unsuspecting clients, meant they would feel their grief in these particular stages.

I think these epiphanies are also here to remind me there is no right way to do the holiday season. Each year is different. Each person is different. Does anything happen in preordained stages? Do you think things happen in predetermined stages? Let me know what you think!

Thanks for exploring the mystery – Nicky Mendenhall

CLUE for living a full life: Strike up a brief conversation with a person you ordinarily would not. See what happens and let me know. Did you learn something? What? Just a few words can change your mood or the mood of someone else, hopefully to a more positive state.

IMAGE: This image of ice and mud was in my Dropbox account and I picked it out randomly. We’ve had some of each already this year!

* Zen Camera by David Ulrich. If you are curious what Ulrich proposed, he said responsibility and release were the final stages.

*David Ulrich’s Zen Camera is well worth a look if you want to read about the creative process and at the same time, learn about establishing a daily practice in photography.

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