I’m writing this post in advance, so the gory details will have to wait, but if everything has gone according to plan, mine will have been fun, informative, stimulating, challenging, and ultimately exhausting. Fortunately I have an eight-hour flight home, which gives me plenty of time to decompress.
I know from past experience that I’ll be too fried to do anything but close my eyes and let my mind wander where it will, so out of curiosity I spent an hour or two noodling around on the internet to see whether I could find some justification for my scheduled down-time.
I found a fascinating presentation by Nancy Andreasen, a leading neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the University of Iowa whose specialty is research into the creative mind. She was originally a professor in the English Department, and her research was partly informed by her proximity to the talented writers participating in the famous Iowa Writers’ Workshop. That immediately made my ears prick up.
Click here for Nancy Andreasen’s one-hour talk to the Aspen Ideas Festival, titled “Secrets of the Creative Brain.”
Among many other things, she says that there are four stages in the creative process:
- Stage 1, Preparation: the assimilation of basic information to build on.
- Stage 2, Incubation: a relaxed time when connections are made, often unconsciously.
- Stage 3, Inspiration: the Eureka! Moment
- Stage 4, Production: putting the insights or concepts into a useful form, or something that can be communicated to others.
Stage 1: done. By the time you read this, I’ll be deep into Stage 2. Mmmmmm. Here’s hoping Stages 3 and 4 will follow. I’ll have to get back to you on that.
See you next Sunday, everyone 😉