The road to creativity can be be rough or smooth, think unpaved and paved.
If you were to get from point A to point B, an unpaved road would provide a slow and uncertain journey while a smooth road would get you there faster and with confidence.
As a photographer, your pavement is the understanding and application of craft.
Understanding how to work your camera. Understanding how aperture, shutter speed and ISO mingle to create almost endless variations. Understanding light. Learning to use a flash, etc. All of these are paving stones that allow you to pave the way to creativity.
A good understanding of craft allows you to pave the way from point A (usually the picture you visualize in your mind) to point B (the image you ultimately create) fluidly and with confidence.