Stage 5, the sought-after state of the creative process. This is the time when experiences of epiphany and insight are most likely to proliferate.  

The esteemed editor returned my MS with erudite comments which means I’m ravenous to read what she offered and make corrections and additions.  Much to my dismay the first few lines of my introduction disappointed me – they no longer felt accurate. This, I mused, is when I need an epiphany!  

When one didn’t materialize, I thought about practicing negative capability: I might be able to continue reading if I just kept in mind that I didn’t have to know right now how to fix the introduction. My desire was to keep reading but my stubborn self kept resisting, insisting we rewrite the introduction right now. My negative capability was weak. 

I had to know how I was going to work the problem out. I couldn’t stay with not knowing and continue reading. I stayed up way too late and hammered out replacement words. It’s too early to tell if they will stay for the long haul.

What’s the lesson? I’m not entirely certain. Maybe the epiphany was disguised and I didn’t recognize it. At any rate, I do have a start. How do you recognize epiphanies? What qualifies as one in your mind? How are they different from Insights? This creative process is full of mysteries! 

Thanks for exploring the mystery – Nicky Mendenhall

CLUE for Better Living*: Be alert for curious and unexpected smells. See if you can identify four different smells in the course of one hour. We need to use all of our senses.

*Adapted from an article in The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker

Image could have been the result of an epiphany that I missed.Posted by nicola at Friday, November 29, 2019


  1. ConnieDecember 1, 2019 at 11:30 AMHi Nicky,

    I find my most useful epiphanies occur when I’m paying no attention. Trying to force one never works for me. It’s best when it just lands on my head. But mostly, I wanted to tell you that you look great – just beautiful!ReplyDeleteReplies
    1. nicolaDecember 1, 2019 at 12:13 PMHi Connie!
      What wise words – a forced epiphany sounds like an oxymoron to me too! I will savor the image of one landing on your head!

      And I want to tell you that I so appreciate your kind words and loyal reading and commenting. Thanks!Delete
  2. NolanDecember 1, 2019 at 12:13 PMNo incites on epiphanies from me!ReplyDeleteReplies
    1. nicolaDecember 1, 2019 at 12:20 PMNolan – are you inciting me to have an epiphany?
      If so, you will have to try harder!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!! Wow – I appreciate it so much!

No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *