There’s a feature printed in this week’s magazine that really got me thinking this morning. Actually it was more like daydreaming, as I gazed out the office window, willing a new blog post to fall out of the sky. Which, in a way, it did.
This particular feature was all about “The Cloud Appreciation Society” and the many mindful benefits that come with cloud-spotting.
Something that the founder of this society, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, said, fed my mind that little piece of static energy it needed to spark an idea:
“…it’s in the gaps between concentrating on something, when your brain is in idle mode, that your subconscious has time to do more processing. That’s when ideas and solutions come to you.”
I’m a bit weird in that, I often get ideas in my sleep. And I suppose it makes sense. To have that light bulb moment you need to first of all switch everything off – otherwise it’s all just bright, white noise.
There’s Nothing Wrong with a Little Daydreaming
As someone with a very busy mind, I view these creative moments as an essential part of how I make sense of the world. I dabble in a bit of drawing and story writing when I get the chance, and I’ve noticed that the creative process is just a series of distractions, a huge chunk of time procrastinating, followed by a seemingly random and totally unanticipated idea.
But really, it’s just my brain answering a question I had about something from hours, maybe days, even weeks ago. The a new and abstract way in which it presents this solution is just something that appeals to my conscious mind. And that’s just how the human mind understands things. Abstraction is simply taking the intangible and making it so.
As clouds float by like thoughts, it’s unsurprising that watching this sky-fluff flow, ever-changing in nature, helps to stimulate the thought-process. If you tilt your head and squint your eyes at anything, often you can call into existence something totally brand new. This really is how ideas are born.
Change of Scenery
Other ways that I stimulate new ideas include never sitting at my desk too long, walking from room to room – in the least neurotic way possible – going outside, or just letting my brain do that blank stare, buffering of the live-feed, thing as it files everything away… before I toss it all up in the air again, just to see which way it lands.
And that’s something I really love about this job. It’s not a weird thing to do, sit quietly in thought for few minutes.
It’s actually completely normal and totally common-place to stare off into space, desperately grasping for the perfect next word in the piece your writing. In fact, if you look around the office at any one time, there’s always at least one person doing it. Which make this a very creative and thought filled environment to work in. Excellent!
If you’re interested in The Cloud Appreciation Society at all, and want to read more of what Gavin Pretor-Pinney had to say, pop down to the shop and pick up your copy of our August 5 issue. It’s a good one… like always.