Does this happen to you? You’re driving somewhere that takes about 20 minutes. Suddenly, the solution to a knotty problem that’s been plaguing you in your wip pops into your head. But you’re driving. You can’t pull over. You can’t drive and write, either (though you think about doing it anyway). You pray desperately that the idea sticks long enough for you to get to your destination and jot it down in its complete perfection.
Then you get where you were going and have forgotten half of it by the time you get your notepad out of the glove-box.
I had this happen to me the other day, and it was frustrating as hell. I do that a lot, get good ideas at the wrong time. There’s something about having my body involved in a rote task that releases the clamps on my mind. I take cold comfort in the fact that I’m not alone in this. Writers tell me that they get their best ideas while scrubbing the floor or cleaning the gak out of their gutters. Others like to sleep on it, and find answers waiting for them in the morning.
Brain experts call this the left mind/right mind struggle. People tend to have one side of their brain dominate their thought patterns. If you are an analytical person who likes to have all their ducks in a row before embarking on a project, you tend to think with the left side of your brain. If you’re the sort of person who goes with your gut, sure you’ll eventually get to the answer, you are probably dominated by the right side of your brain.
(If you’re not sure which part of your brain dominates, take the quiz HERE).
I’m a firmly left-brainiac. Which means I over-analyze when I should be creative. But I’ve found exercises that will help strengthen the right side of my brain.