Is there a succinct word for the 'itch' to do something creative? For example having a niggle in your brain where only doing something creative can make it go away?

  • Define "be creative". How does an urge to be creative differ from a more general urge to do something? Does "Learn French" count as a "creative act"? How about "Listen to an opera"? (and would that be any different to "Listen to a radio talk show", or "Watch daytime TV"?). Aug 7, 2014 at 12:41
  • Not a real word in the sense you want it to mean: procreative.
    – jxh
    Aug 7, 2014 at 23:38
  • "Insanity" is probably the word you're looking for.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 8, 2014 at 0:51

5 Answers 5


One might also refer to being "stricken by the muse" if there is a specific creative idea demanding that you implement it.



can do that to you.

  • 2
    Inspiration might lead to a sudden desire to be creative, but I believe these are two different ideas.
    – talrnu
    Aug 7, 2014 at 20:33

While it isn't a single word, the phrase creative frenzy is often heard. By itself, frenzy means

A state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behavior [Oxford Dictionary Online]

Other similar terms are creative fervor and creative fever.

fervor: great intensity of feeling or belief; ardour; zeal [Collins]

fever: A state of nervous excitement or agitation [Oxford Dictionary Online]

The terms could be used by themselves if the context reflected the source of the agitation, as in

He was in a frenzy that only a full day of writing could relieve.

  • The best answer so far. IMHO
    – j-i-l
    Aug 7, 2014 at 13:55
  • 1
    A creative frenzy might result from the sensation @Sal is describing, but it doesn't describe the sensation itself.
    – talrnu
    Aug 7, 2014 at 20:31
  • "And across the surface of the infinitely adjusted yet somehow effortless mechanics of the feathers, played idle designs of color, no two alike, designs executed, it seemed, in a controlled rapture"
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 20:38

The term "creative drive" comes to mind.

"He really possesses a creative drive; he spends 2 hours after work painting every day!"

Alternatively: "She's really creatively driven; even her shoes are homemade."


It's often called a creative urge: a sudden and strong compulsion to just create something. I'm not aware of a more succinct term.

  • 3
    synonymously, a "creative impulse".
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 20:31
  • @DanBron Would "creative stir" work, too? Aug 7, 2014 at 20:51
  • Yes, that's also quite poetic (though rarer, according to Google's Ngrams: books.google.com/ngrams/… )
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 20:53

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