Daydreaming reveals creative & intellectual strength…

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Albert Einstein

 

Hey guys,

I found this interesting article and news item recently. I used to have a partner who was extremely critical and who micro managed me when we worked together. Amongst many things he didn’t understand me. When I taught at university in the Creative Industries we taught about creative people and how they operate differently to other people.

Creative people can be extremely creative for a few hours a day and then may need daydreaming time to allow this to be activated later on in the day. Or possibly the next day. If creative people are given space to be creative, they will be extremely productive for a few hours and then may need to not focus so much for the rest of the day. In doing this, though they produce very creative, innovative products, solutions or art.

However, recent studies have been examining daydreaming and its effect on us and its positive benefits. I thought it was worth sharing with everyone. In her article called “The 3 Scientific Benefits of Daydreaming” written last August 20, 2018, Annabel Blake who is a Researcher for UNSW Science of Innovation Lab and summarises some of the findings.

Blake writes there are three main benefits to allowing ourselves to daydream during the day. This is also called mind wandering and she states that researchers estimate we do this 30-50% of our days.

  1. Daydreaming can help to focus and be motivated for our future goals

Blake writes that Dr. Gabriele Oettingen, professor of psychology at NYU says that fantasizing about achieving our goals assist to spur motivation on and keep us committed. Dr Oettingen states that by reflecting on reality and comparing it to fantasies about a desired future outcome, we are compelled to act. In other words, imagining the fulfilment of a dream she argues will lead us to being extremely committed to achieving this. Using our imagination we can stimulate our motivation and our action. Instead of thinking that daydreaming is useless it is actually very useful.

Blake (2018) also writes that Freud believed in the power of daydreams, that they represent “the human desire to alter the existing and often unsatisfactory or unpleasant world of reality.” She states also that studies have discovered mind-wandering that focuses on future planning, and tangible steps to reach the goal, help us to better prepare.

Therefore daydreaming a few times a day and imagining future possibilities can be important for your planning of what you wish to achieve.

  1. Daydreaming improves creativity

Mind wandering has been shown to light up connections across a series of interacting brain regions known as the default mode network (DMN). Studies have suggested that creative thinking is enlivened when this part of our brain is activated. The DMN helps us to connect associated ideas, also known as creative ideation. This process can lead to a steered actionable response. In fact, people who daydream demonstrate increased connectivity between these two networks.

This means If you daydream your ideas out, then you are more likely to come to an actionable outcome.

  1. Daydreaming promotes patience, helps decision making and improves achievement…

Studies have shown that adults who were tested with how long they can wait for a delayed reward, rather than settling for a smaller immediate reward. Research found that people whose minds wanders tend to be more patient, and then make better decisions. This could be because daydreaming allows us to escape everyday discomforts of real life, which allows us to withstand frustration in waiting for a delayed reward.

This may be because daydreaming allows us to escape the discomfort of real life, meaning we can withstand the frustration of waiting longer for a reward. This kind of escape also reflects memory consolidation mirrored in sleep. Researchers also found that taking a break between training tasks to let your mind wander, meant that the people studied performed better on the task on the following day than those who focused the whole time.

The take away from this is that it is okay and positive to let your mind wander. 🙂 Don’t let people tell you, you are wasting time.

Similarly, in an article by Sarah Berry in the Age and The Sydney Morning Herald (2017) found that a study in Georgia Institute of Technology showed that daydreaming improved creative and cognitive ability of those who were tested.

In this study, they took 100 participants and scanned their brains while they stared at fixed points for five minutes. After this, the participants completed tasks measuring creative and cognitive ability and completed surveys about how often they daydreamed daily. Those whose mind wandered scored more highly on creative and intellectual tests and had more efficient brain patterns.

Co-author, associate Psychology Professor Eric Schumacher said that people with “efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.”

So this research shows that if you are allowing your mind to wander, roaming and imagining, and even resting from the pressures of daily life, then you are the opposite of ditzy, you are actually sharp intellectually and creatively. In the end you will be able to achieve your goals, and dreams in a more effective way than those who don’t allow their minds to roam. Don’t let anyone tell you, you are ditzy or vague, cause these things allow your mind to focus when it needs to. We should allow our minds down time, just like we allow our bodies downtime. We need this rest to pursue that which we wish to either create or achieve or accomplish in our lives. All of us have different desires in life. Either way, daydreaming is going to make our lives better, by allowing our minds to rest and relax and even enjoy roaming!

Go well and happy dreaming!

Creativity on the holidays…

Hey guys,

I am enjoying starting my new novel which is about one of my characters from my other novel, Where the Sun Rises. (I am planning to have this published in the New Year) My main character is a journalist, a foreign correspondent and I am enjoying the fact that I know where she is from, (I am also from Sydney) and I don’t have to research every element of this narrative. There will be some research, as there always is with any book or script, but not as much as my other novel. 🙂 Not many novels could ever be as much as that. 😉

Anyway, it is a good time of year to keep creating. In Australia, we have very hot weather right now, and people holiday at this time. It is a good time to continue creating whatever project you are working on. I am also thinking about a script idea I have in the background as well. These are the things that make me excited! So, I hope you have some time to create some things this Christmas/holiday period. 🙂

Go well, thanks for reading! Suz

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A Creative Collection :)

Hey guys,

Just letting you know about my collection of short stories, it contains stories about life, love, loss and laughter. With plots in New York, Jenin, Israel, Sydney and Brisbane the stories explore a range of themes and aspects of being human. Here are a few reviews.

Thanks so much for reading! Kind regards, Suzanne

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Freedom Writing- No. 1 in Amazon Best Sellers List

Hey guys,

My book Freedom Writing is free for three days (June 21-23). Feel free to check it out, and I would really appreciate a review it’s very easy to do. 🙂 Visit your own country’s Amazon site and you can download it there! Thanks for reading.

Have a lovely day.

An update! Freedom Writing is No.1 on the Amazon Best Sellers List, Free Downloads! Thank you to all the people who are downloading my book for free, check out the pic below. 🙂 

Kind regards, Suzanne

Number1Freedomwriting

 

 

New York Pitch Conference – Sponsorship

Hello guys,

I am pleased to announce that I have received funding from the Sunshine Coast Council and Arts Queensland to attend the New York Pitch Conference later this year.

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I am very excited and extremely grateful to the Queensland Government Arts Queensland and the Sunshine Coast Council for believing in my novel and supporting me to attend the NYPC to pitch my novel to editors from Penguin, Harper Collins, Random House, St Martins Press and more. I am finishing my novel at the moment and writing my pitch. It should be an amazing learning experience, that will yield knowledge I can bring back and share with others. Hopefully, I can attract a publisher, but I know I will learn a lot from this experience.

Thank you so much to the Sunshine Coast Council’s RADF and Arts Queensland funding that supports artists to attend conferences or events that will further their careers. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and I know that I will be able to also share this knowledge with others when I return.

Thanks for reading! I will keep you updated and let you know when I do attend the conference.

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This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

Be proud of your creation – Elizabeth Gilbert

Hello there,

In my recent workshops I decided to end the session with a quote from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. This quote inspired and spurred me onto to continue to create and be proud of the end product that I produce. No matter what happens. I have always felt this since I was young, that no matter whether you are successful (some of the most phenomenal artists in the world were not successful commercially in their lives) in financial terms or not you have created something from nothing.

Be proud of all the work and the creative process, you created something from nothing. You created characters that did not exist, and a narrative in which they lived and breathed, succeeded or failed, loved and fought for those they loved. In my novel I am finishing currently, there is life and death, there is love and loss and there is life. It is based on the real women who fought in Syria, loosely based on real people but no one in particular. I created these women, their lives, families, the world that the reader lives in. I had to research so much of this novel as it is completely outside my knowledge of the world and use my imagination of course. It was very difficult. But this is what an artist does, they challenge themselves and want to see things from other people’s point of view. That’s what I wanted to tell the stories of these amazing, brave women!

Anyway, I wanted to share this quote as I believe it will spur you on as well, in whatever creative endeavour you find yourself in. I love it, it makes me emotional when I read it. 🙂 Happy writing and have a great day.

“Bring forth what is within you, then, whether it succeeds or fails. Do it whether the final product…is crap or gold. Do it whether the critics love or hate you or whether the critics have never heard of you and perhaps never will hear of you. Do it whether people get it or don’t get it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be Plato. It’s all just an instinct, and an experiment, and a mystery, so begin. Begin anywhere. Preferably, now.  And if greatness should ever accidentally stumble upon you, let it catch you hard at work.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.

Creative people need to create!

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to do a short post talking about how it is when you are a creative person. We need to create. I was aware of this, this week. If I felt frustrated with certain things I sat down this week and continued with my novel I am writing.

When I step into the world of writing and creating this world for the reader, my frustration disappears and I am elevated. I think people with any kind of obsession or passion would say that when they do it, they feel free. It would be the same with a sportsperson or a musician when they play their instrument. This was how I felt as I was creating more chapters for my novel.

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Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book Big Magic, if I am not creating, I am destroying something in my life (paraphrased). 🙂 This is quite true. A creative person needs to create, so I wanted to encourage readers of this blog who write or do other creative pursuits, find some time for this, this week. You will not regret it. I bet you have twenty minutes when you can do it! 🙂

I am also providing my short story and poetry collection for free from tomorrow (Sunday 11 March) for two days. If you download it, it would be so great to receive your reviews! Thanks so much again. Go well! Suzanne 🙂

This is my Creative Collection of Short Stories and Poems. 🙂

 

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