Why Do You Have your Best Ideas In the Shower? What is the importance of letting your mind wander for creativity?
Is this really a thing? Having our best ideas in the shower? Is there an explanation about why do you have your best ideas in the shower?
Yes, there is. And I want to talk about that because it leads me to a much bigger problem.
Have you ever been driving, thinking about nothing, then, BAM, it happens: you know why your villain did what he did (and, thank God, it isn’t cliché childhood trauma or simply because he’s a psychopath!).
Then later that day, there you were, in your shower, and then, OMG, you found out why your character’s boyfriend dumped her. And it was not to stay with the hot secretary! Wait, you actually found out that plot hole that was driving you crazy!
Why do we have our best ideas when we are not thinking about anything?
The answer is simple: because your mind was wandering off.
That’s the answer why showers and driving alone are so good for the imagination.
When you are not thinking about anything is the time your mind is free to be creative.
And here comes to the most serious thing I wanted to talk about.
I read on Twitter (Twitter, my holy grail of knowledge and references): Most of your writing is done away from the keyboard.
And this is so true.
You have to give your mind space.
You have to let it wander and have fun.
Somebody said creativity is intelligence having fun (I Google it and it looks like it was Einstein, but I never trust this Internet quotes. Anyway, it’s true).
This leads me to another thing:
Let go of this obsession with word counting
“I will write 1000 words today. If I can’t, I’ll beat myself up about it until I’m so depressed I want to quit writing!”.
Writing is a creative process.
You can have it all outlined.
You can have a great plan.
And, then, you get there. Nothing. You stare at the blank page.
Nothing or some dry words come out.
You are not having fun, you aren’t enjoying the process. But, even so, you stay there, trying, until you beat yourself up enough that you’ll leave without having written what you wanted, feeling anxious, an underachiever, and bad. Or you go, write the words, dislike it, start dreading when you’ll have to do the same in the next day.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a plan. You should.
But sometimes, things won’t go the way you plan. And that’s okay.
You simply can’t force creativity.
It’s great to have discipline, but sometimes you need showers.