I went to the hockey game this evening with my business partner (really good tickets courtesy of a very generous friend of ours). Al was telling her that I would probably write a blog post about the game and somehow blend in some business lessons from the game.

But my first reaction was, "Hey, I write about what I want when it comes to me. Creativity doesn't work like that." Telling me to write about something actually blocks the creative process; you can't force it.

I am sure he was thinking that here are two teams (Calgary Flames and the other guys) fighting for playoff spots, Doug can write about competition, or perseverance or out-playing the other team.

But frankly that feels forced.

Nope, to be in touch with your creative side you actually have shut down your conscious (active) brain enough to listen for inspiration from your subconscious as it brings ideas tantalizingly close to the surface. You have to be aware, just enough, to grab hold of these ideas before they disappear. But you don't want to grab too hard or you push all the other patterns aside… at least until you have the inspiration you are looking for. Having a preconceived notion severely impedes the process.

So sorry Al, I am not going to write about how the Flames won 4-2. Or how they came back in the third from a tied 2-2 game. Or which players made the biggest difference. Or the importance of a great coach. Or the impact of strong management on team momentum. Or how hockey is like business. Or how I really enjoyed the game. Or how some people can be so nice.

Creativity just doesn't work like that.