Pulling back (shower) curtain on creative thinking

Pulling again (bathe) curtain on inventive considering

Let me inform you a unclean secret. Really, it’s a clear secret: I get my greatest column concepts within the bathe, however by the point I get out, they’re gone, which implies you solely see the second- and third-best concepts.

Right here’s the way it works. The new water is spraying on me. I’m washing my ears, my hair — or what’s left of it — and numerous unmentionable physique components, when immediately an excellent concept flashes throughout my consciousness like Halley’s Comet.

Sentence by sentence, the column retains rising in my mind, however by the point I dry myself, it has evaporated.


Earlier than you begin writing letters to the editor or to Joe Biden’s just lately inaugurated Disinformation Governance Board, complaining in regards to the preposterous issues I write about, let me guarantee you that I “observe the science,” identical to Hillary Clinton. And the science says showering results in cleanliness … and creativity.

I could also be tone deaf, however within the bathe I can sing like Pavarotti. My efficiency of the aria “O mio babbino caro” from Puccini is best than Renee Fleming’s. I additionally love singing “American Pie,” which takes greater than 9 minutes and wastes numerous sizzling water.

Within the bathe, I can write with the facility and drama of Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo and Mark Twain. I’m even higher than Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed Tolstoy of Twitter.

Within the bathe, I’m completely sure the column I conceived whereas scrubbing my bald head will get me a Pulitzer Prize or a Nobel Prize or outstanding show on numerous fridges.

Do showers convey out our interior genius? Cognitive scientist Scott Barry Kaufman, creator of “Wired to Create,” carried out a survey in eight international locations and concluded that 72 p.c of us get our greatest concepts within the bathe. Fourteen p.c of the respondents routinely used the bathe to stimulate new insights or encourage a contemporary strategy to previous issues.

“The stress-free, solitary and non-judgmental bathe surroundings could afford inventive considering by permitting the thoughts to wander freely, inflicting individuals to be extra open to their interior stream of consciousness and daydreams,” Kaufman says.

Showering helps launch the chemical neurotransmitter dopamine in our brains, selling what psychologists name the “default mode community,” the place concepts bounce round in free affiliation in our unconscious.

Do it’s essential to write a response to your detrimental efficiency analysis or a buyer criticism to Amazon or an essay in your faculty software or a nasty letter to the editor? Leap within the bathe and take your laptop computer with you.

Again to my drawback. Since I can’t sort on my iPad whereas I’m washing, I made a decision to do the following smartest thing. When the concepts began to movement, I opened the curtains and ran bare and dripping moist down the corridor to my room and started writing. That strategy bombed, nonetheless, as a result of the lady who at all times lectures me about cleansing the bathe, aka my spouse, was proper behind me, and issues obtained ugly.

Nonetheless, I managed to reconstruct my column on dry land. It might not be one of the best, nevertheless it’s higher than the remaining.

This inventive course of comes at a value. The juices maintain flowing however so does the water, which implies our propane invoice, like every part else in America, has doubled.

The opposite drawback is that everybody who showers after me comes out screaming, “THERE’S NO HOT WATER!” (I think about that poetic justice as a result of when our 4 daughters have been youngsters, they at all times appeared to enter an adolescent nirvana within the bathe and forgot to return out.)

Every part I’ve advised you is true — or virtually true — so I don’t need the Disinformation Governance Board snooping round after I’m within the bathe. As People, we now have the constitutionally assured proper to freedom of speech and freedom of showering.

So right here’s my suggestion to make America even better but once more. Because the bathe helps individuals provide you with new options to previous issues, our esteemed political leaders of each events want to leap in, activate the water and get to work. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Pete Buttigieg, Janet Yellen and the remainder of the Wild Ones must get within the bathe collectively. They must resolve whether or not they need to be of their enterprise fits or their birthday fits, but when there’s press protection, I counsel the latter.

As soon as they begin to scrub themselves, the concepts and water will movement freely, and so they’ll be capable of clear up the border disaster, local weather change, Putin inflation, Biden inflation, the coronavirus pandemic, the crime pandemic and the disinformation pandemic.

Isn’t that an awesome concept? It got here to me within the bathe.

Former Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time Editor Joe Pisani will be reached at [email protected]