Jilly: Incubating Again

IncubatingHow was your week?

I’m writing this post in advance, as today is the day after RWA Nationals. If everything has gone to plan, I’ll have spent the last eight days doing research for a future book, touring the Naval Base at Coronado, talking story with Kay and Jeanne, pitching Alexis, meeting new people, stuffing my brain with workshops and treating my body as a temple to ice cream and cocktails 😉 .

If all has gone well, I’ll be fried. I’m sure I’ll have much to report. Later. Today my plan is to sleepwalk to the airport, board the ten-hour flight home, close my eyes and let my mind wander.

While I’m decompressing, here’s a neat piece on the value of allowing time for ideas to incubate. I linked to an earlier version of it after last year’s RWA, but I think the subject is well worth revisiting.

Nancy Andreasen is 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.

Click here for her one-hour Aspen Ideas podcast with author Tom Kelley titled “Secrets of the Creative Brain.”

Among many other things, Ms. Andreasen 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.

By the time you read this, I hope Stage 1 will be done and Stage 2 in progress. Fingers crossed, Stages 3 and 4 will follow. I’ll get back to you on that.

See you next Sunday, everyone 😉

2 thoughts on “Jilly: Incubating Again

  1. Safe journeys!

    (-: I’m incubating. I hope I’m incubating. Things just aren’t ready to fall out on paper, like they tend to do when I’m ready to hatch something short and good.

    Somehow, I have this terrible image of an Alien-like creature bursting from my forehead. Ah well, lots of people like horror. And now that I’ve written it down, it occurs to me that a summer-camp story SHOULD have a campfire tale of the weird and bizarre GOTCHA sort of variety. Hmmm. A story within a story? Or should the whole thing be a lead-up to the strange?

    (-: AS I said, “Incubating.”

    Hope you are catching up on liquids and sleep, and processing your very full week!

  2. I can’t wait to hear about RWA Nationals, Jilly (and Jeanne and Kay). This past week, I did have the occasional pang of regret about not going, but the timing just wasn’t right this year. Looking forward to living vicariously through your adventures and acquired wisdom :-).

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