Monday, 26 September 2016

Stand up to live!

I wrote a post a little while ago about creativity, and particularly how the incubation phase, where 'nothing appears to be happening' can be much enhanced by a walk outside, or a 'slow ascent of wooded hills on a sunny day', as Helmholtz put it.

I often come back to this thought, and to John Le Carre's assertion that 'a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.' Whether we are creating something, or merely putting previously unconnected ideas together to gain a deeper understanding of something, the process needs time and space.

There's a fascinating article here about the connection between walking, thinking and writing, with some of the physiological basis for why a leisurely, or even brisk, walk may stimulate thought and creativity. But it seems that if you're trying to find the definite answer to a specific question, then walking ain't the way to find it.

And, furthermore, if you do go for a walk in search of original thought, then best to leave the mobile behind. This excellent article warns of the dangers of distraction: living online rather than going online now and then.

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