Let your neurons dance 💃
How do you feel when you get stuck in a rut? When you’re trying to solve a problem. When you’re trying to figure out what to write next.
That’s your brain knocking on your skull telling you to walk away. To give yourself some breathing space. It’s saying “Geez, will you leave me alone until I try to figure this thing out!”
It’s time to walk away.
Walking away is part of the creative process. This is called the incubation period.
It’s the next step in the process once you’ve eaten a tonne of information surrounding the problem and now you are trying to figure out what the solution is.
Sometimes the solution can come to you pretty quickly, or sometimes you just get stuck.
What’s the science behind this incubation period?
During the creative process, your neurons are all dancing together. Melding information together from all the information stored in that awesome brain of yours. Knowledge, experiences, what you’ve heard, what you’ve seen, what you’ve listened too. They are bringing this together to come up with ideas, with solutions.
Sometimes your brain just needs a little more time to figure things out. So by walking away from the problem for a bit, your subconscious is doing the work around this problem in the background.
Then one day, AHA! that’s it. That’s what I need to do.
Studies have shown that people who take some time away from a problem come back with more solutions, better solutions and more creative solutions to the problem.
There’s nothing to suggest what the ultimate time period for this may be. It can be anywhere from a nights sleep to many months.
The melody for Yesterday by The Beatles came to Paul McCartney in his sleep.
Henri Poincare, a great mathematician, was trying to solve a complex math problem but got stuck. He left it and went travelling for a few months. It was in the middle of this travelling that the solution came to him out the blue.
The next time you start to feel the frustrations of being stuck, not knowing how to move forward. Leave it. Go for a walk, sleep on it, meditate, go away for the weekend, do a jigsaw, paint, get on with other work for a couple of weeks and come back to it.
If you still feel like you are getting nowhere… ask yourself, have I done enough research around this? Have I given my brain enough information to try to figure this thing out? Have I discussed this problem with other people to see what they think? To see what their experiences are?
The next time you feel stuck in the midst of the creative process, give your brain the space it needs to let your neurons dance.