Some wise words from Richard Oliver:
Creativity is often described as a problem-solving activity. The problem with problem-solving is that it focuses on what is rather than what could be. If we want to do things differently rather than better we have to learn to search for the capabilities in any situation. Instead of identifying problems we will have to open ourselves to potentials. Instead of a world of fixed unchanging categories we will have to learn to see the world as more fluid, more open to change, and ultimately, more mysterious.
Richard also links to this post by Ian Worley, which contains this thought, among others:
at the end of the day…creativity is about our relationship with the world…and we engage the world through a the reciprocal process of making (or asserting things into the world) and seeing how the world responds (assessing) and then thinking about a way to improve or tune the response to what we want as a result. This is the essential feedback loop between thinking and making…and it is the basis for all thought and creativity…and ultimately the underpinning of craft (or quality). Without making there can be no thinking…and without thinking there can be no making.
And yet, people often stop themselves from engaging in this most essential process because they are afraid of the uncertainty of it…they do not know what to make or think about. But a painting is not thought through before it is painted…a painting is thought through AS it is painted. And it begins with a mark…any mark. The same is true with writing or music or any other type of creative activity. One cannot wait to begin only when one knows what one is doing. One has to simply start…somewhere…and respond. Each action leads to the next…and as the work progresses…it begins to define what it needs to be as much as what it is because you come to know more about what you are trying to achieve by doing it. This is not to say that you cannot begin with an idea…but rather to say that the idea of a starting point should not be confused with the ending. Begin at the beginning…but let the end unfold through the feedback of making and thinking.