In these last three chapters, McNiff begins to summarize how he sees the creative process, beginning with a daily practice of connecting with the creative spirit. Setting aside a time of day devoted to examining the ordinariness of life. Being open and a willing participate to the direction the process takes one, exploring inconsistencies along the way. He states that his “excessive self-consciousness,” was a “major inhibitor” to his own creative journey. He discloses that it was through is own willingness to accept his experiences, the difficulties, the ups/downs of life, that he had to keep showing up for the learning, no matter how difficult the lesson. Giving up and surrendering were also part of the process, and learning to trust the process had information on where he needed to go. For a creative, there is the battle of the process or the product. He sees the product of a creative as their off-spring. Neither right or wrong. The product is but an expression of one’s actions. And no matter the medium, there will always be some form of critique, whether it is one’s self or another. He offers the reader a method in understanding the psychological insights criticism has to offer. One method is not to pay any attention to any criticism as well as condemning those that offer judgments of one’s creations. This keeps one in the possible fearful position of hearing any message about one’s artwork as negative, rather than guiding. He suggests the best place to find critique is in an environment that is safe, respectful and nurturing. To remember that mistakes are part of the creative process, to be part of the practice of any creative process in the learning of what works and what does not, to remain flexible in the growth in review of attitudes, opinions, experiences, or ideas. Part of the process of criticism's role is to strengthen one’s own critical eye for the creative process to work together in things taking form by a call to attention. Criticism is to be used as direction, not judgment for who one is, or what they have created. But more to offer a freedom of direction with their expression. He leaves the last chapter with a call to connection through expression. He engages the reader to find what creative expressions reveal about themselves. And some difficulty people find with expressing is the fear that others may know more about them through their creative abilities than they desire. There is a responsiveness to the creative process as “creations of the imagination carry imprints of their makers.” He shares that what we make carries along with it a part of our humanness. Yet he steers the reader to remember that it is not that one leaves their imprint on their artwork, but how their artwork left an impression up on them. McNiff ends his book with a call to stay in the flow on creation, and to trust the process.
I encourage you to buy a copy of Trust the Process for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.