One of the top questions readers ask me is: “Where do your ideas come from?” I usually answer, “They come from the shower.”
It’s true. My best ideas always happen in the shower. And they always seem to strike just as I’m fully lathered. I try to remember these ideas, but after losing about several dozen before I could write them down, I broke down and bought a water-proof pen and pad. It hangs on the back wall of the shower. Now I can jot down the ideas without getting out of the shower.
I used to smoke. Whenever I reached a hard point in a book, not knowing what to write next, I would go outside, walk aimlessly around my backyard and smoke until the next idea hit me.
These two things may seem like they don’t have anything in common, but that’s where you’re wrong. Each activity, showering and smoking, keeps my body busy while letting my mind roam free. I call this down time. And my best writing always happened during my mind’s down time.
But now there’s a big problem. The cell phone and social media is taking away my down time. (I also don’t smoke anymore, so there goes that.) Now, each moment that isn’t filled with something to do, we grab our phones to play games, tweet, or snapchat. We jump over to Facebook or stream Youtube vines. This isn’t proper down time. It’s filling our brains with crap until they explode.
In order to be creative, our minds need that down time. It needs a void that it alone can fill with imagination. But what happens if there are no more voids to fill?
What happens when we stuff our heads with TV sitcoms, a stupid president’s tweets, and Facebook posts?
Then we have no new ideas and all we can do is regurgitate what others have already said. The imagination shrivels up and dies. And along with the death of our imagination will be the death of music, books, and theatre.
Technology will reign supreme and creative endeavors will slowly pass away.
I don’t know about you, but that is not what I want.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go take a shower. I feel a new idea coming on.
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