i was given the creative act: a way of being by rick rubin for my birthday and have really loved it. it's a beautifully designed and made book of 400 pages or so. don't let that put you off as it's not linear. it's a series of 78 reflections on creativity which i think you could dive into in any order. rick rubin has taken 8 years or so to write it and it really feels like it is considered with real depth and wisdom to it.
the title tells you that he sees creativity as a posture, a way of being which has an openness to the abundance of life that comes from 'the source'. if we will pay attention and notice we will tune in to all sorts of inspiration that is happening around us all the time. he of course is a music producer so his reflections come from working with artists over many years but he is keen to say that creativity is something everyone can engage with i think of creativity as pretty spiritual so it was good to read a book that seemed to take the same start point.
he doesn't quite spell out what he sees the stages of the creative process are but i think they distill down to exploration of ideas; through that discerning what idea to work with - he calls that the seed; then there is generative phase of developing that idea; through to completion. what i was struck by about the process is that in the first phase it is expansive, exploratory where you really need to push out as much as possible. and then when you get to developing and towards completion the opposite is the case - it becomes important to distill it down, edit and focus. this makes some of the sections seem paradoxical but it's because they belong in different phases of the process. if you are familiar with writing on creativity (i have a whole shelf of books on that!) there will be themes that are familiar but there is also lots that is original and it's beautifully crafted.
i found it really inspiring. if you prefer a podcast to a read then malcolm gladwell talks to rick about the book on their podcast broken record