Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Incubation

Today's letter for April's A to Z Challenge is I. And for I, I'd like to talk about Incubation.

Okay, not that kind of incubation. I'm talking about creative incubation. 

Um, well - that's not what I meant, either.

For writers, sometimes we have to allow our ideas time to incubate. You might have a great idea for a story, but as you plot it out or write it, you get stuck. You realize that point A doesn't transition into point B. Or maybe point C doesn't jive with point D. 

What's your point?
So what many of us do, instead of just throwing the whole idea out the window, is we let the story sit in our mind - we let it incubate in our subconscious. Maybe we sleep on it for a day or two. Maybe a month or more. The great thing is that many times when we're not expecting it, the solution to the problem pops into our head. The problem has boiled around in our grey matter, played ping-pong with our neurons, and suddenly, with a dash of cerebellum and a soupcon of parietal lobe, our problem is solved.

For me, that's one of the funnest things about the writing process; how problems often resolve themselves if we just give them enough time and let them incubate.

Like this, but with less chicken.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I hear you. I've been much more creative with plot developement jogging around the neighborhood than sitting in front of the computer screen.

    1. I do some of my best thinking while taking walks.