Persistence and flexibility are the tools which can lead one to creative solutions of all types of problems. And before you say that this only makes sense, consider that the combination of these two approaches is actually not as common as would seem apparent.
My kids are the north and south poles of creative problem-solving: Kestrel, my 7-year-old, will squeeze a problem until she wrings blood from it; Leif, my 9-year-old, tends to apply ideas flexibly and when one doesn’t work, he will move on to the next.
Whether you are an author looking for a way to write the perfect mystery or a scientist hoping to find the missing link, persistence keeps you in the pursuit and flexibility allows you to find solutions that rigidity would have overlooked. The amazing discovery discussed in this piece is that there is no 0ne-size fits all approach to creativity.