Thinking Can Be Bad For You

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You must simply do things.” – Ray Bradbury (author)

This quote struck a note with me as I’m currently doing some research for a book. It’s on a subject I know well and so I consequently have many acquired views and opinions. However, as I’m aiming to come up with an original approach, it’s important to try to get out of the usual lines of thinking.

One method I’ve found that works well is that when I’ve a minute or two to spare, I’ll randomly dip into a book on the general subject and I’ll often find snippets and ideas that suggest or support new directions.

Just reading the book wouldn’t do this as I’d get transfixed by the line of reasoning and these ‘little insights’ would get submerged. To encourage this serendipity, I’ve set up a large writing desk with all the relevant books written on the subject scattered about, making it easy to do.

The important point is that I’m looking with no set purpose and when I’m in a relaxed frame of mind. Anyway, so far it’s working well!

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