For we ordinary mortals to compete with people for whom creativity is effortless is difficult. But there are certain techniques of creativity that will help us achieve a result that is every bit as good.
Chance interactions are an important part of the creative process. Call it 'intelligent chance' if you like, but when you strum away at a guitar, or plonk at a keyboard, sooner or later you will find an attractive combination or sequence of notes that will set your creative juices flowing.
To start from a germ of a musical idea, it is necessary to try out ways of furthering that idea. Try out one – reject it. Try out another – rejection also. Try out a third. Aha! This is the way to go…
Hang on. Just because you have found something that takes your work forward doesn't mean that you have found the best way to go. Like routes on a map, you wouldn't stop when you had found one route that led to your destination. You would wonder whether there might be another that is shorter, more scenic, or costs less in road tolls.
So there should be a separation between creativity, where you generate ideas, and review, where you judge them. This technique is sometimes known by the ugly term 'brainstorming'.
Using this technique, from your first germ of an idea you can think up maybe six possible routes of progression. You choose one. From there you think up six more. And then six more from there. Already you have developed and considered 216 possibilities. The next step will take you to over 1000.
You have developed a whole universe of creativity based on your one original thought.
So unlike linear creativity, where you only consider one track, and recursive creativity, where you take the first idea that seems to work at each stage, exponential creativity allows you to explore spaces of expression that will take you further than your dreams.