Pop quiz! Studies have shown that creative people are known to:
A) Daydream. A lot.
B) They lose track of time.
C) Have wandering minds.
D) Stare at the wall. A lot.
E) All of the above
If you picked E, you are correct! Successful creatives spend much of their time so deeply immersed in their own internal worlds that, in the eyes of the world, it often appears that they’re doing nothing.
But of course, we know how very untrue that is. Our minds are busy working. Synapses are sparking, neural pathways firing, different corners of our brains coming together, making connections, leaping around seemingly unrelated topics, playing with ‘what if’ possibilities all the time.
The act of thinking used to be a respected one. It was understood that in order to have well-formed ideas and opinions—or even just make good decisions—we had to think about things. But that process doesn’t seem to be held in as much regard anymore. In our productivity-enamored, technology-driven, instantaneous response world, the act of thinking is often considered, at best—quaint, and at its least flattering, an indication of a slow mind. We’re expected to make snap decisions, instantaneous judgments (with or without all the facts, no less!) have ideas gush forth in brainstorming meetings or large, communal bull pit type offices. Then, once the idea has been decided upon, we’re expected to produce, produce, produce non stop in a straight, continuous line until a project is finished. Frankly, I’m exhausted simply writing that paragraph.
So what if your brain doesn’t work that way? Well, now you can take heart in the knowledge that many creative peoples’ don’t and in fact, if your brain doesn’t function that way, perhaps it is due to its creative nature.
For some writers, it takes time to peel off layers of ourselves and weave them into our work. It takes time to observe and study human nature, collecting and appropriating mannerisms, emotional dynamics, and dramas, and then incorporate them into our stories. [Read more…]