While thinking may seem like an obvious trait in creativity, it’s important to examine what people think is obvious and what it means to the subject at hand. It’s part of being curious. In creativity, there are two accepted modes of thinking: divergent and convergent.
Creativity is filled with diametrically opposed qualities. The thinking required to get you there is no different. Divergent thinking is being open to new ideas and is the important part of the idea generation process. It’s usually done at the beginning of a project and when more ideas are needed. Brainstorming is a popular form of divergent thinking.
Convergent narrows down the ideas to come up with one that will work for the problem at hand. If you continually think divergently, you’ll never wind up doing anything. Convergent thinking allows you to focus on one idea and bring it to fruition, or at least far enough along to find out whether or not it will work.
Both types of thinking have their places in the creative processes if you’re looking to bring something into the world. If convergent thinking is applied too soon, it could limit creativity. Divergent thinking brought in at the wrong time could derail a project for something seemingly better. Learn to apply these to your deep thinking, and get better at creativity.