In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron states:
“Showering, swimming, scrubbing, shaving, steering a car—so many s-like-yes words!—all of those are regular, repetitive activities that may tip us over from our logical brain into our more creative artist brain.”
It is the rhythmic movement of these activities that make them ideal for clearing our minds and allowing creativity in. These activities alter consciousness. Think about that for a second... You don’t have to think about showering or walking, do you? Washing the dishes or scrubbing the floorboards don’t entail much concentration either. Because repetitive activities don’t require our full concentration, we can allow our minds to drift elsewhere, and it is when our minds are open to new ideas that those ideas show up.
I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s image that ideas always hanging around us, waiting to be heard, but can we hear them over the constant checking of our cell phones? Is it easy to recognize these ideas while we’re watching T.V., reading every newspaper we can get a hold of, or spending hours on Facebook? Our days are usually so busy and so cluttered, we don’t feel there is any room for new ideas, so we curse creative block, claim the universe hates us, and continue to fight through the clutter day after day.
Ideas are waiting for you right now. What are you doing to listen to them? (<<< click here to tweet!)
We’re too busy for these activities. Who has time to walk for 30 minutes when there are blog posts that need written? Why waste an additional twenty minutes cleaning our home when we have a to-do list three pages long? Could anyone really benefit from spending more time showering or shaving when our email inboxes are overflowing?
Have you spotted the problem yet? We’re so sure our to-dos, our work, and our “responsibilities” are SO much more important than taking time to brainstorm—because, really, that’s what all these repetitive activities are giving us: time to brainstorm.
Too often...we forget about one of the most important stages of any idea/plan/project: The creation of it. (<<< tweet that!)
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone in a crowded and loud restaurant? We face the same problem when we try to come up with ideas while our minds are cluttered. However, when we unplug and engage in any type of repetitive activity, we will find we’re in a better position to discover:
- Solutions to problems
- Blog theme ideas
- A new plot or character
- Action plan for a goal you’re working towards
- Ideas to better engage your community
I’m personally a fan of walking. Whenever I’m in need of a solution or idea, I go for a walk. It works every time. Every. Single. Time. But this is MY thing. You might get ideas while painting. Or drawing. Or crocheting. Perhaps, like Einstein, your best ideas come to you when you’re in the shower.
Learn what works best for you and use it/ do it. Plus, have your phone with you because it acts as a notebook and tape recorder. (There’s nothing like catching an idea and trying to hold on to it long enough to get home and write it down. I do not recommend.)
Do you already know what activities are prime idea generators for you? If not, what activities are you going to try this week to start churning out ideas like no body’s business?