In my experience, it is essential to be driven by some fundamental curiosity. This may be a question to be answered or a what-if scenario of considering alternative potential problem solutions, plot twists or turns of phrase or paint color. To address this curiosity a positive intention must be developed by focusing the will to create. This intention allows the transition from preparation into concentration. Throughout the process, the cultivation of mindfulness helps the creator reach and remain in the flow of the creative zone.
I believe that every creator must establish a commitment to their work, which is perhaps part of incubation and illumination. My successful works came from the application of intent and commitment so I believe these to be necessary although not sufficient for creativity to flower. Finally, I think every creator must take risks; if not before, then as part of the verification stage. Self-critique, review by the gatekeepers of your field of endeavor, or exhibition of your work leads to changes made to your own approach to the process and style of future works if not revisions to the current work.
Paine-Clemes, B. (2015). Creative synergy: Using art, science and philosophy to self-actualize your life. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press.