Creativity in the Shower

Those great ideas, the really best ones, come at you in the shower, don’t they? It’s not surprising. Studies in brain science generally say that creative solutions come about in three steps:

1. Looking at the problem from many angles in open curiosity.

2. Researching information and possible solutions.

3. Putting away the problem by taking a nap or sleeping on the problem overnight.

When you wake up, not thinking about the problem at all, but coming awake, a creative answer suddenly leaps out at you. Stands to reason you could be in the shower at the time. My morning start with a walk, but I meditate while walking, leaving the mind open for ideas that slap me in the face in the shower.

What do you do with those ideas? Well, someetimes they are fleeting, like a streaker dashing across the brain. I need to hang on to a edge of them before they vanish. So I write them down. In the shower? Absolutely. With a grease pencil. If you are under 50 you won’t remember grease pencils, also known as china markers.

Grease pencil

Grease pencil

They are big, heavy pencils that you peel to sharpen. And they write on bathroom tiles. Easier than keeping waterproof paper in the shower. And faster. And it guarantees that I catch the ideas and scrub the shower once I’ve written them down. (Waterproof paper is available at stores that carry serious hiking equipment and construction supplies.)

Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. She teaches people how to write as well as how to keep a journal you love.

5 thoughts on “Creativity in the Shower

  1. The grease pencil. Learned out that one from Steve Tyra–used to belong to the Arizona chapter of National Speakers Association till he moved East. We miss him; he was a master of great inspiration.

    Thanks for reminding me!


  2. Oooh, you could even have an extra tile (like a leftover) in the shower, so you wouldn’t have to leave it in there. Kind of a Flintstones approach to note-taking, I guess!

    • I love the extra tile idea! It could lean against the tub while not in use! I just bring my to-do list into the bathroom, then scrub off the grease pencil with baking soda. Works great!

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