I've been focusing on creativity for a few months and thought I'd write a simple article on the exact processes involved in creative thinking. I've taken my sweet time to reflect on the research and then made notes on how I've applied similar things while playing the guitar, writing, cooking, and designing.
You can hijack these in any profession or craft you'd like. They are quite universal. I've tried to explain the most important points in this article. Here's an example from my life.
I was thinking of having a peanut butter sandwich and finally got up to make one at 3 am. With a very inattentive brain, I stumbled upon a creative life-hack to apply peanut butter on bread without crushing the bread's corners or leaving some extra on the spoon - use the spoon's backside to scoop and spread the peanut butter on bread. This overcomes the problem of unevenness, extra stuff on the spoon, and a crushed corner of the bread. Of course, it would be easier with a buttering knife, but what if there isn't one?! Out of the many creativity hacks described below, this uses 3 of them.
Spontaneous creativity through the default mode network's activation - Considering it was 3 am, and I was sleepy-hungry, my brain's attention was directed inward, and I was moving habitually. This possibly activated the default mode network that accessed random processes and memories in the brain. That may have helped me gain a new perspective on using the spoon and re-assess the problem of making a sandwich.
Overcoming functional fixedness - I flipped the spoon and thought of it as a new object with a new purpose - a different way to scoop up the peanut butter. I thought of a new function for the spoon's backside.
Having limited resources - Having a buttering knife would've been easy, and I would've lost my chance to think of the spoon in a different way. Not having the resourceful knife worked in my favor.
Explore 12 more processes that may apply more to your thought process in the article below. :)
Have fun creating and do share your thoughts and experiences! :D