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Tip Tuesday #32

Wow, guys.  Thanks for all the great support and encouragement yesterday.  You are truly made of awesome, every one of you.  In fact, there is so much awesome there, I'm still responding to comments.  Stay tuned!  Speaking of awesome, today I have Carrie of Fanfreakingtastic (isn't that the coolest site name ever?) on the blog for Tip Tuesday.  Here she is!

I feel like I have a pretty stellar secret weapon when it comes to finding your story and writing your first draft. The shower. No joke. The shower is, for me, an Idea Creation Machine. While I crank out a rough draft I shower up to three times a day. When I get stuck, I hop in the shower. The ideas just flow.

Now, the real secret, I think, is the white noise. The shower creates a neutral, distraction-free zone. While the shower is a magic writing place for me, other folks may ftind their ideas while driving, walking the dog, or cleaning. Walking the dog also works well for me. I think the trick is recognizing that space wherein you can be most creative, and then consistently utilizing it as such. It's a bit like sports psychology. As a competitor, you want to warm up the same way, every time. Writers can create mental muscle memory in much the same way athletes create actual muscle memory. I also think it's wise to treat it that way. Elite athletes take practice and competition very seriously, they place a priority on it, and they find ways to make it work for them. There's a lot to be said for that mindset and getting things done.

The shower is my secret weapon too!  I love your thoughts about creating mental muscle memory.  Now, if only my kids would actually let me shower...  Thanks Carrie!  Everyone, please tell us about your creativity zone and then visit Carrie's blog.  Happy Tuesday!


  1. OMSeriousness!! I so posted on another writing site that my dark, secret hiding place where my most famous ideas come to to light was in the shower!! ('K, sorry to have just regressed to using 80's language.)

    Maybe it's the symbolic washing away of dirt and grime that clears my mind. *Shrug, shrug.* But it works. ";-)

  2. Hmmm...why didn't I think of that! Maybe because I can't eat chocolate in the shower. :-)

  3. I get mine when laying down with 3yo to a fan. Must be a white noise thing!

  4. I've also found that ideas "flow" in the shower.(Didn't know you made a pun, did you, Carrie?) :)

  5. I absolutely love this post. And the shower is probably a lot safer than the car, which is where I squeeze in most of my active thinking--much to the chagrin of anyone who expects me to actually exit the freeway where and when I'm supposed to do so....

    As always, Casey, LOVE your blog!

  6. Casey,

    I missed yesterday's discussion, but I just want to say that when I had two young kids, I could NOT write. I got my first PB contract in 2003 pre-kids and didn't get my second until 2009, when they were both in school pretty much full time.

    So, it may just be the sleep deprivation, constant distractions, yada yada.


  7. Definitely! The shower is where I get some of my best ideas, too -- that, and those moments in bed before falling asleep. :]

  8. For me, it's going for a walk outside with the dog, either on the beach or at the river. Somewhere where he's splashing about, falling over his own feet or doing something else ridiculous.

    All of a sudden, the wind clears out the cobwebs and I'm off again. It's brilliant.

  9. I also enjoy the shower for coming up with ideas, but I had a hard time remembering them when I got out. I found these online and have been using them ever since:


    They work like a charm. I'm planning on purchasing some in bulk for stocking stuffers this year.

  10. This is a great post, thanks Casey! I think this is exactly right. You have to find that place where you're halfway between reality and your imagination. Where you leave your senses behind and your creative thought begins to flow - almost like lucid dreaming.

    For me it's right before bed, or while running, or sometimes - rarely - driving. Anywhere your mind can wander. Once you've found it remember it forever.

    Thanks for sharing Casey and Carrie!

    The QQQE

  11. This post made me smile. The shower is my white noise too, that and those moments when I'm trying to go to sleep. I try and think when I run or drive, but I get my best inspiration in the shower or in bed. I chalk up my water bill to creative inspiration :).

  12. Great tip. I guess it's the water, if I can't think of anything I'd prefer to take a shower, bath or go for a swim just to clear my head.

  13. Absolutely, the shower works! I wasn't sure why, but figured who cares why? The white noise theory does sound plausible, though I don't get the same results from just running a fan, say. Good post.

  14. Now, can we deduct a percentage of our water bill as a business expense? :)

  15. My youngest son Matthew - aged 8 -wants to be a physiotherapist when he grows up...
    When he gives me a massage he relaxes me so much that all my stress and backache melt away. During this 30 min 'massage in paradise,' I ALWAYS have ideas and diologues floating around in my mind. That child has MAGIC FINGERS and is in great demand from aunts, uncles etc.....the best thing is that he ONLY CHARGES 2 Euro...sigh...nothing is free these days.

    THANKS LADIES for a lovely post...now where is that Matty?

  16. Casey, my husband and I are such big shower thinkers that we invented a waterproof notepad called AquaNotes. Its environmentally friendly and so durable you can write on it underwater. Most importantly you can write down your brilliant ideas while youre in the shower. Take a peek at www.myaquanotes.com

  17. I've had ideas come to me while I run, shower, or blow dry my hair. Maybe that's why it takes me so long to do those thing. :)

  18. I love it! The shower as Idea Creation Machine is nigh on universal. :D

  19. I love that so many of us do our best thinking in the shower. I've also felt the creative pull with driving or staring out at the ocean.

    Generalissimo and LeAnn, thank you for sharing AquaNotes with me. I've been looking for something like that and so have a few of my writing pals. Awesome!!! I tweeted the link and will continue to share it whenever I see someone talking about getting ideas in the shower.

  20. Ditto for me. As well as driving and walking our dog. In fact, the initial idea for my current WIP was born during a dog walk.

    I read somewhere once that it's because during these activities, we do actions that we have repeated so many times that our brain doesn't have to concentrate on them so much, so it can wander, and that's when the creativity kicks in.

  21. For me it is while driving. The most inconvenient (re: dangerous) place to be distracted! I drive and scribble on the back of receipts, or at pull over and write on the back of reciepts/napkins. (yes, I carry a notepad, but it is in my purse...I need to attach one to my dashboard.)

    I have even used my cell phone, and called our home line to leave a message to myself.

    I wish the shower worked for me.

    Fun post!

  22. I've heard that too Samantha. Something about the right brain being stimulated but on auto, giving the left brain more creative drive or something. I don't know! Very cool though.

    Be careful driving Lola! I think it'd be hilarious if you attached a notepad to your dash. : )