Daydreaming: A Key to Creativity

13 Sep

I came across this video while searching for a certain music video for a past post. It got me to thinking. I would like you to watch it, then we can discuss it.



So basically what Jonah Lehrer is saying is that the mind comes up with creative things better and faster when we let it do a little wandering. There is a need for daydreaming, following that trail of what-ifs, just staring out the window watching the birds on the feeder.

If this is the case, what are some ways we can relax our brains so they can bring up our more imaginative ideas?

Jonah mentions taking walks, daydreaming, and staring out train windows. Are there other ways we can let our minds wander?

  • How about that lovely zen-ed out couple minutes while you wash your hair. (although for me it’s more than a couple minutes, since my hair is waist length.)
  • Listening to the rain.
  • Relaxing to your favorite music.
  • Those few moments when you are on the edge of sleep.
  • Thinking of nothing in particular while sitting in your recliner.
  • Just staring across the room at a random object.

This last one helped me write a piece of flash fiction (a story that’s, I believe, under 2,000 words long). I was trying to come up with an idea, but nothing was happening. I set my chin into my hand and stared across the room at a pile of random papers. Peeking out from the pile was part of a stage coach, that got me thinking about the wild west. Well, what is one of the best known stage coaches in modern advertising? TheWells Fargo’s logo. Now I am thinking of a bank in the old west. From there I thought about a steam punk outfit my husband and I had discussed making for me. Now I’m thinking of a woman, in a Victorian steam punk outfit in a bank in the old west. Now what could bring about some kind of problem in a bank. Duh, a gun. How would we introduce a gun into the situation?

Well, why don’t you read it for yourself?


A Misunderstanding at the Bank

She walked into the one and only bank in all of New Wells, Colorado, head held high, shoulders back. Walking like a woman in a new dress, which she was. A high necked number in burgundy, with a black leather waist coat, and black and white patent leather ankle boots. In her right hand she held a brown valise. It seemed to be a little heavy for her comfort, but she was darned if she was going to let it show on her face.

The lady in the new dress walked expediently up to the teller on the left, and set her bag on the counter to the right of the clerk’s window. The clerk, a skittish man in his mid thirties, was always afraid when a woman approached his window. They were either confused as to what they wanted, or had a tendency to try and bluster or wheedle more out of him than he should extend. Either way, women made him nervous.

This one really made him sweat. She seemed to have been sewn into that red dress, and her manor of walking told him that here was a woman who was used to being in control of situations. Since he was rarely in control, this type of person made him feel twitchy.

“Hello, Mister…” She glanced at the little pin on his shirt, “Popskie. My name is Miss Delia Anne Walters, and I would like to open an account here today.”

Taking his kerchief out of his pocket and swiping it over his upper lip, he replied, “Very well, Miss Walters. How much would you be putting into your new account?”

With a satisfied smile, she opened her valise, and began digging through its contents. “I have $300.” After a few moments the smile started to fade into mild frustration. “It was on top a few minutes ago.” Now the innards of the bag were being pulled out and placed in a neat line along her side of the counter. A bottle of perfume, smelling salts, a compact, a paper bag which smelled of peppermint, and there were a few more things, but Mr. Popskie’s vision narrowed to include only one of her items. A brand new, fully charged lightning pistol.

While she was busy grumbling into the seemingly bottomless pit that was her bag, he quietly reached a hand beneath his register and pressed the alarm. Without taking his eyes off her gun, he reached into his vest pocket and retrieved his kerchief.

Miss Walters, on the other hand, finally got hold of her envelope of crisp new twenty dollar bills. Pulling her head and right arm out of her bag, she waved it in front of herself triumphantly. “Ha ha! It thought it could hide!”

Turning her attention now to putting her varied objects back into her bag. She did not see the sheriff and two of his deputies walk quietly in the front door. She thought everything was going to go smoothly, until she picked up her little pistol and was about to put it back in with its travel mates. That’s when the Sheriff said, “Stop right there, Miss.”

Looking around in confusion, she turned to see two powder rifles, and a large lightning pistol aimed straight at her own self.

“Lower your weapon, and step away from Popskie.”

“Lower my…?”

“Put your weapon down, Miss, and no one will get hurt.”

“I was just…”

“Well now you are going to drop it on the floor, and kick it to me.”

“Why on Earth would I drop this perfectly good, brand new pistol on the floor? Don’t you know that’s a terrible thing to do to a gun? Not to mention that it might go off.” Shaking her head, she turned back around and dropped it back into her bag. Swiping her envelope of cash off the counter, she also put that into her bag. Closing it with a snap and a huff, she pulled it off the little ledge, and marched straight for the door.

“Of all the hair-brained things.” Giving the door a shove, she walked straight through, and headed for the train station.

Mr. Popskie sighed and sagged against his desk. With shaking hands he wiped the beads of sweat off his face. “Thank you, Sheri…” Catching the look in the Sheriff’s eyes he didn’t have the nerve to finish.

“Popskie, did she SAY she was going to rob the bank?”

Giving his head a shake, he replied, “N, no.”

“Did she hand you a note that implied such an intention?”

Again, shaking his head, Mr. Popskie had to answer no.

“Then why did you press the alarm?”

Pointing to the counter before the Sheriff, he said, “She, she…”

“Had a gun.” The Sheriff shook his head. Rubbing a sudden pain above his left eye, he said in exasperated accents, “Mr. Popskie, this is Colorado. It is quite possible that YOU are the only person in this entire state who does not own a gun of one kind or another. And would you two quit snickering back there?! For the love of…Mr. Popskie, I really think you ought to move back east.”


*            *            *

What are some ways you zone out to find creative inspiration?

And, if it’s not too much to ask, what did you think of my little story?


9 Responses to “Daydreaming: A Key to Creativity”

  1. Anna September 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Sweet little story. Where’s the rest of the book? Seriously, it is good; introduces three characters by name and sets the scene effectively with a fun theme and a hint of lib. bashing. A very nearly perfect concoction.


    • rosedandrea September 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      Thanks. *blushes* That’s really all the further my imagination wanted to go with that story. Perhaps at a later date when I have time (and have actually learned how to finish a book) I will revisit it to see if it can go further. If it did, I think it would follow the Sheriff.
      Drat. Now you’ve got my brain working on this. lol


      • rosedandrea September 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

        No. (pink and purple peanut butter! Why did you have to get me started on this?)
        I think the Sheriff and the lady are going to end up being an item. There isn’t a train leaving town again that day and she is forced to stay the night. Where would it go from there…?


  2. tcopelandfilm September 15, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I definately agree with the video, it’s such a shame that so many people can miss the intricate wonder of the world because they’re too busy engaging their minds on screens. Perhaps all technology adverts should come with a warning: you might not need to buy this.
    Great story, it kept being what I wasn’t expecting. The characters come out clearly too.


    • rosedandrea September 15, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Yes! So many people are so tied up in their computers or texting that they don’t take the time to watch sunsets, or experience a summer storm. Also, if you can’t take the time to look up from that screen to say hello to your family or neighbor it’s no wonder the lines between reality and video games is getting blurred.
      Perhaps there should be some kind of 12 step program for Screen Addicts. 😉

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it.
      Oh, that was my happy dance. See what you did? 🙂


      • tcopelandfilm September 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

        Storms makes me think of another way humans deliberately avoid nature. When it’s raining, everyone goes by car or doesn’t go at all. Those people will never experience the joy of walking in the rain or of walking into a warm house after a wet walk.


        • rosedandrea September 16, 2013 at 12:13 am #

          I agree. As long as it was just a warm summer rain it wasn’t uncommon for my sisters and I to move our play under a large tree or into our clubhouse (which we were forever remaking).
          I also love taking walks in the rain. Put on a pair of boots, grab your jacket and an umbrella and watch the world as it’s being washed. 🙂
          Driving in the rain, for some reason, is fun for me as well. Give me a good storm and a highway and I’m in heaven. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s the challenge. *shrugs*


  3. ReGi McClain September 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    LOL! I love it. 🙂

    By the way, I read that being supine is more conducive to creativity than being upright.

    I use dish-washing time and laundry-folding time to daydream productively. 🙂


    • rosedandrea September 16, 2013 at 12:26 am #

      I can see that. You just let your hands do the thing that they have done a thousand times before and let your mind wander to something more interesting.

      Ooh! Supine. Look who’s pulling out the big words. I do a lot of mind wandering while lounging in bed. There are a lot of times I go down intending to sleep, but spend the entire time daydreaming or playing with strange what if situations.
      lol It accomplishes the same goal, though. My body is rested, and my mind has had time to recover from the rigors of the morning. (although there are times I take a nap to forestall a temper tantrum. Living with two men is not easy for a woman who grew up in a house with 5 women and 1 man. Yes, my father is a saint.)


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