The Four Phases of Creation – Part Four: Emergence

(This is part four of a four-part series on the phases of creation. (Here are parts one,  two, and three if you missed them.) Everything you ever birth – be it a baby, a book, a business, or a brunch – goes through these four phases. They sync up with the seasons, the lunar cycle, the menstrual cycle, and the planting cycle. Once you know what they are and use them consciously, you can add some serious rocket fuel to your creations and your creative process.)

I am a woman who lives to start. I get the biggest bang out of getting going on something new.

The feeling of possibility at the very beginning is intoxicating to me.

Every creative endeavor has to have a beginning. And I call the phase of creation at the beginning Emergence.

(Ironically, this is the final part of my four-part series on the phases of creation, but creation is cyclical so I try not to get too caught up in which phase is the beginning – there is no beginning or end to a circle.)

Emergence has the same energy as the follicular phase of your period (which is the 5 days or so after you bleed), springtime, and the waxing moon.

It’s the time when you’re planting seeds and getting started.

If you’re an easily inspired enthusiast like me, you feel really at home in this phase. (It’s super important for people like us to also learn to embrace the Fertile Void and Culmination phases so that we move forward by finishing projects and don’t burn out.)

Let’s say you want to write a book. The Emergence phase would be the time when the first ideas for the book are flowing. You might be writing random notes, jotting down an outline, and brainstorming on how the different ideas you want to cover will work together.

How will you know you’re in Emergence? You’re really excited. New ideas are popping up left and right. You’re inspired to get things going.

What are some tasks to focus on during this phase?

  • Brainstorming
  • Laying out a plan
  • Getting your ideas down on paper
  • Setting intentions for the project
  • Taking the first steps

If you struggle with getting started on new projects because you’re afraid your work isn’t good enough, that you’ll fail, or of what people will say when you put your stuff out there, this phase is a great one for you to focus on and celebrate.

Remember, you don’t have to get the whole project done in this phase. This is the phase for starting. (The Culmination phase is the phase for completing.)

I find it really helpful to remind myself that there’s a phase for all of the key parts of any creation so that I don’t get caught up in thinking I have to do all the things all the time.

One of the best ways to do less (and stress less) is to focus on the phase you’re in rather than trying to skip ahead. 

Here are some great questions to ask yourself to get the most out of Emergence:

  • What is my desire for this project?
  • How do I want to feel as I work on it?
  • What are the outcomes I want when it’s done?
  • What are all of the ideas I have for this project, even the crazy ones?
  • What are the key dates and deliverables for this project to manifest?
  • What are the first steps to getting this thing off the ground?

When you move through Emergence with enthusiasm and channel that energy into concrete planning, the momentum you gain will serve you throughout the rest of the four phases of creation.

The way you start matters. Let it be conscious. Let it feel good. Let go of perfection.

And then just get going.


What’s the very first step you could take to get the project you’re wanting to start next off the ground? Tell me in the comments!


  • So how do you know when you’re in Emergence when you are the type of person who is always coming up with ideas? I feel like my natural state if being is Emergence – always coming up with ideas and feeling super excited about the prospect/possibilities.

  • Truly love this series (read all of them and took notes). However, I am curious if the phases can be reordered? A seems emergence seems as if it would be phase one and not four

    Emergence, Visibility, Culmination, and The Void?

    • Kate Northrup

      They go in order but there’s not really 1, 2, 3, and 4 because it’s a cycle :) So glad you loved the series!

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