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 😉