I am always interested in the psychology of creativity and the writing process. What fosters high focus, flow, and what works against it? I’ve had a very interesting experience with this recently, and hope we can discuss these ideas more in the comments.
While I was visiting my son’s family over Christmas, we all piled into his SUV for an outing. My kid slapped his phone into a holder on the dashboard and tapped in commands for music. It was a Pandora mix of electronica, not exactly what I would choose, but fine for the afternoon.
I was in the backseat with my 4-year-old granddaughter when Miles said, “Mom, watch this.” A song came on and the little one cried, “The Toast song!” and started dancing in her seat. Well, not exactly dancing. She was doing the car-seat equivalent of a rave, slamming her body back and forth against the sides, eyes closed.
A few weeks later, back at home, I was looking for some new music for workouts and remembered the Lindsey Sterling station he had played. Gave it a try, and it worked fine, but what I noticed is that I was really thinking as I rowed and lifted. All kinds of things. Bright, strong things.
It didn’t click, not yet. Even though I am a student of creativity methods and higher brain function, I didn’t realize there might be something to this music.
Two or three months later, I was shifting gears from a historical project set in the 17th century to a modern-day novel about young backpackers in Europe. None of the music I had was working, and I scanned around the blogs written by young travelers to see if there might be something I could learn. One of them had…you guessed it, electronica.
Or as I later learned it is more commonly called, dubstep.
What the heck, maybe it would get me into the right mood. I selected the Lindsey Stirling station, slapped on my headphones and started writing.
Three hours later, I had added 3748 words.
Nearly four thousand words. In three hours. 2269 of those words were written in one hour. [Read more…]