I was recently traveling around Asia. Without cell service or a computer, I spent a whole lot of time doing “nothing”. My brain had the space to absorb the world around me and to listen to my subconscious aura.
How are there so many poorly designed sinks that spray water around or are too short to put my hands under?
Why are houses so monotonous in Toronto?
Is the key to success truly just persistence and doing what other people won’t?
These thoughts appeared so often that I began to recognize patterns in my creative process.
It all starts with an infantile thought like, “Why am I still using Microsoft Word in 2019?”
Then the thought may go dormant for a while... Or it may not come back.
I try to scribble them down before they disappear into the void. This is useful for breathing life back into deceased thoughts.
Each time a thought resurfaces, it matures a little more, “What happened to the all-so-popular Evernote that was supposed to change the way we write forever?”
At a certain point, I’ll have developed enough interesting questions or observations to write something more concrete like a blog post or business plan. Just like I’m doing now.
If I can’t answer a question myself or the thought extends beyond my personal life, I take a look at what other people are saying about the topic. When I was researching writing apps, I came across these two interesting pages:
I’ll make my own notes about what people say. Eventually, I’ll have outlined all the information I need. The last step is to weave it together into a compelling piece, and of course, draw some pictures.
Back in high school, I was hungry for business ideas. I didn't understand how people could just come up with them out of thin air.
Now I understand. When your mind isn't distracted by your phone or the bustle of everyday life, it has extra capacity.
Your mind has space to observe. It can connect the dots between past memories. It's as easy as that.
So do yourself a favour. Do nothing.