Monday, 4 March 2013

Rumination or Procrastination?

Mull it over; have a think; sleep on it; let it stew; sit on it; contemplate; ruminate... The second of four proposed stages of creativity, is 'incubation'. It involves taking a period of time to, well, do nothing, or at least have very little tangible evidence of doing anything; and despite being the stage whereby a tree not only dropped an apple but the idea of gravity onto Einstein's head, the discomfort I feel from partaking in it is astronomical.

Working within the creative field I know that being 'creatively active' one hundred per cent of the time is simply not possible. It is simply exhausting and ideas just don't procure. TED talks (among other research) has found that willpower operates in a manner analogous to a muscle; the more it is used, the stronger it becomes, but, if used in excess, just as a muscle will tear, willpower will deplete. I would like to think that creativity is also resemblant of a muscle; use it too much and you'll be liberally applying deep heat in the form of 'LOL cats' or other frivolous distractions.  There are those that take this 'do nothing' notion a little too far however, using it as an excuse to banish their guilt about partying too much, using 'rumination' as a guise for 'putting it off until the last minute'. 

Taking time to do nothing, I brandish myself with the same label of 'slacker', yet I know it must be done. I am, in fact, quite certain that my predicament is a shared one and the idea of taking time to do something seemingly disparat, sets the words 'avoidance', 'procrastination' and 'lazy' reverberating around the head of many Britons. We're famed for it really, stiff upper lip and all, don't show emotions. Thus, the only consolation or silver-lining I can give is, think of the Germans.