There’s a fine line between thinking, worrying, brooding and obsessing. Since I do all of these at some point, I should ponder this.
When I lay in bed in the morning, occasionally reviewing the miscellaneous injustices of life, the friends who’ve fallen out of touch, adding in the bills in my head, contemplating my failures and shortcomings with a brief period of beating myself up followed by a short yet poignant foray into self-pity, followed by a rush of optimism because somehow, I always work things out even if I have no idea how I do it … what is that?
When I stare at a laptop that isn’t working and I can’t (apparently) fix … the one on which I’m planning to reinstall the OS while wondering if it will totally trash the machine? Is that thinking? Worrying? Obsessing? Does it matter?
Creative thinking, the stuff that produces something new, has no particular time. It can be the offshoot of a conversation with my husband or online. Frequently, something I read in a book turns on the light bulb in the brain. Often I discover what I want to write about on my site while commenting on someone else’s.
I’m not sure my brain ever sleeps. I have weird dreams that can be difficult to shake even after I wake. Even though I don’t always remember the dreams, I wake up already engulfed in them. Dreams trigger waking emotions, though sometimes I’m not sure how.
What is the best thinking? I don’t know. Worrying and obsessing may not be the most healthy processes, but they can be surprisingly productive despite their bad reputation. Because while I’m worrying and obsessing, I’m also planning, looking for exits, looking for a new way to deal with the problems. Usually, I find something. That’s what the sudden explosion of optimism is — it’s me knowing there’s a way out even if I’m not sure what it is. Yet.
I guess this means I have no idea when or where my best thinking gets done. If I were to take a guess, I’d say it’s while I sleep.
I know when my best writing gets done. That’s easy. I have creative spurts in the morning after I pour my first cup of coffee and again after dinner, around eight or nine at night. I may get an idea anytime, but I’m most likely to write it down early in the day or when I’ve got my feet up at night.
So much for a simple answer to a straightforward question.