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Why people tend to give up on creative projects too early

Quartz at Work: “Almost all good writing comes with terrible first efforts,” Anne Lamott declares in her beloved book for scribblers, Bird by Bird. “You need to start somewhere.” The same is true of any creative project. Yet it’s easy to forget this rule of thumb when you’re in the midst of brainstorming a new design or coming up with a business proposal, aware that the undertaking thus far isn’t looking very promising. Under those circumstances, it can seem reasonable—nay, wise—to simply give up. A recent paper, published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, suggests that many people quit creative projects too soon because they misunderstand how creativity works. Basically, they put too much stock in the importance of “aha moments” filled with sudden inspiration, and not nearly enough weight on persistence as a crucial part of the creative process. The authors call this phenomenon “insight bias.”…

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