I have written about a creative process in my book on writing blocks - the idea being that understanding our own personal creative process can help us to feel less blocked. I borrowed heavily from the Gestalt cycle. There are two stages in the Gestalt cycle - "satisfaction" and "the fertile void" - which may not, at first, be obvious components for a creative process. And yet writers do talk about them without naming them as such, Kathleen Jamie in The Guardian on the 17th of August, does just that.

She describes finishing a book as like, "Falling out of a tree ... Your self dissolves, you feel you're falling. Language withers. It's not a good place to be, but it's probably necessary."

This is what I have characterised as the "fertile void". The time between creative projects when we are waiting for the next one to appear. It is a time for our "unconscious" to do its work behind the scenes and begin to latch onto what we want to explore subsequently. It is a time for us - our minds and our bodies - to rest, to recuperate, to indulge in re-creation.

Before the fertile void comes "satisfaction" when we need to take pride in what we have done and sit and admire it (and have supportive others do the same). Sometimes we move too quickly away from satisfaction - it feels arrogant, it feels wrong - and into critiquing. I cannot tell, of course, but I do wonder if Jamie's fertile void is so painful because she has circumvented the satisfaction phase and not allowed herself to enjoy the fruits of her labours.