How critical thinking can put you on the trail to your muse
Next time you are looking for your muse, but find your head full of too many inspirational possibilities, use the tools of creative thinking to conceptualize, apply, analyze, and evaluate all of your choices to arrive at the best possible conclusion.
While it might not seem like critical thinking and creativity should not even be in the same room together, let alone drinking together at the bar, employing critical thinking skills can indeed make you better creatively by helping you find the right path that you should be taking to your muse.
First off: what is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is not telling me what you thought of the last Harry Potter movie. That is called criticism. Critical thinking is more about being like the famous fictional detective whom inspired my title choice: Sherlock Holmes.
Critical thinking as defined by dictionary.com is:
“The mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion”
And when faced with a seemingly unsolvable dilemma, this is what the famous pipe smoking detective did. Through these tools of deductive reasoning, Holmes would look at all the possibilities of the mystery and test them until he came to the one answer that he could not disprove.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that this sort of thinking is best saved for detectives and scientists in a laboratory, not for a creative, imaginative type like you. First off, you are wrong in assuming that science minded people are not creative. Good scientists first use their imagination to explore possibilities then use logic to find the answer that meets their set of criteria. Take Sherlock for example. Before he could do any detecting, he had to first use his imagination to explore all the possibilities of a crime scene then use critical thinking skills to whittle them down to a satisfactory conclusion.
Being creative, does not mean that you should throw logic and reasoning out the widow. In fact, one of the keys to finding inspiration is to use the tools of critical thinking to look at all of those ideas that you are coming up with and to find the one that is the right fit.