The Role of Motivation in Creativity

motivation and creativity

We can easily define motivation, and motivation in creativity, as the reason behind a person’s actions, goals, and willingness to do things. It’s also derived from the word motive, and further defined as a need requiring satisfaction. This need could be either a want or a desire that the person has acquired. Mostly because of their lifestyle, culture, or the society that they live in. Generally speaking, it’s an innate need, meaning it’s inborn or natural.

Main Types of Motivation

There are 2 main types of motivation. These are:

  • Extrinsic motivation. A motivation that depends upon external reinforcers and rewards including things like praise, money, and other accolades.
  • Intrinsic motivation. This occurs when a person does something without an obvious external reward. So, a person may do something because they find it enjoyable or interesting. Regardless of the reason, there isn’t any outside pressure or incentive (e.g. a reward or deadline) for doing it.

Motivation in Creativity

When you’re discussing the motivation that lies behind the process of creativity, you’re discussing what’s known as intrinsic motivation. Another way of discussing creativity is by referring to it as creative flow. Flow is the mental state in which you’re completely present and fully immersed in a task.  It’s a strong contributor to creativity because when you’re in flow everything around you becomes one. Your consciousness no longer notices outside distractions. Instead, your mind is fully open and attuned to that which you’re creating. 

When you’re in this state of creative flow, it’s because of intrinsic motivation. You’re being motivated to do your creative work because of the pleasure you derive from it and for no other, external reason.

Eventually, this will result in sheer joy! Why? Because you’ve achieved a balance between the creative expression you’re working on, and the sheer joy it brings you. 

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The Role of Motivation in Creativity

Brenda Marie Hoffman
Brenda is a life coach who helps women who suffer from PTSD due to childhood abuse or domestic violence. She helps them take better care of themselves so that they can experience God's love and live out His calling on their lives.
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