a place for ideas

I thought of this post in the shower.

And that’s precisely what this is all about. Ideas. And in what kind of environment in which they were born.

I do some of my best thinking in the shower. I’ve come up with creative projects, ideas for dinner, formed strong opinions on what was the best year in movies at the Oscars, a checklist of goals to accomplish before Friday and different backgrounds and templates for this blog (more on this later). On the other hand, I’ve also done some pretty good thinking in the bedroom, whilst sitting up in bed, the covers over my legs, television on mute and pen and paper within arm’s reach (I’ve been known to keep writing supplies under my pillow). Of course, I can’t forget those light bulb moments – when an idea forms unexpectedly.

An acquaintance, who happens to be a writer, once told me that she likes to think and brainstorm at her desk, in complete silence, no pictures in front of her, no distractions at all. Another friend told me she likes to be in her bedroom and listen to “mellow music” when she writes poetry. I found it fascinating. How a person’s creativity thrives in different environments. For the most part, I can’t think when music’s on – I like it too much to just ignore it. And sitting behind a desk feels too forced.

Think about this. Do you have any spots where you do most of your creative thinking? Or are you more of a free-spirit in that you can’t be contained to just one type of environment? I have to admit, I’m a little bit of both, although I lean towards a quieter space. It depends on my mood. What about you?


23 responses to “a place for ideas”

  1. Cynthia says:

    I do some of my best thinking during the bus ride to and from work. The funny thing is that it sometimes happens while I'm taking a nap on the bus.

  2. colleen says:

    it's not even a place – it's when i'm walking. anywhere, anytime, for whatever reason. always when i'm walking do ideas strike me.

  3. Alexa says:

    i think so well on the subway, probably because it evokes so many emotions in me. i find it beautiful and dangerous; it excites me and makes me feel sad. i can't really explain it, but i find myself jotting down ideas almost every day on a train.

    love this post. it's such a good thought.

  4. Caramel Latte Kiss says:

    I haven't found my magic place yet. I have written poetry in all sorts of places though, on the train, on the beach, in castle ruins, in classes…I'd like a magic idea place, but for now I enjoy these random hits of inspiration.

  5. SreeBindu says:

    For me it mostly happen's on my long bike ride from home to office. Next may before going to bed staring at the Ceiling

  6. rooth says:

    For me it also depends on my mood. Sometimes it's before I go to bed, sometimes it's right when I wake up. I always have a pen and paper with me

  7. barefoot mama says:

    I love how you write and what you write about.

    I have created spaces for creativity and they never get used, I guess I am more of a free spirit:))

    ~ B

  8. Anita says:

    I would say I'm more of a free spirit, though like you I need a quieter space in which it think. Mostly though it comes down to my mood.

  9. classiq says:

    I can not think when I listen to music either. But so many things can inspire me, and I do most of my creative thinking in my home office. xo

  10. kristina says:

    great post jillian! for me it all depends. i can be in practically any environment – a cardboard box has the ability to inspire me haha!

  11. sherri lynn says:

    Your posts are always so creative! I do a lot of thinking in the shower. I think I should probably doa better job of creating an environment for myself that I am able to think in… I always have so many distractions and I'm multi-tasking on top of that… probably not the best for my light bulb ideas!

  12. Carol {Everyday Delights} says:

    I don't really have a "spot" but I get a lot of good thinking done on the bus!

  13. Pink Ronnie says:

    As I get so little time to myself these days, I end up just constantly brainstorming wherever I am and no matter what I'm doing. Every idea gets jotted down into a notebook with a pen or onto my SimpleNote lists on my iPhone. Means that I don't actually do a lot of conceptual work at my desk.
    Ronnie xo

  14. jillian m. says:

    Agreed! The train is a good one for ideas!

  15. jillian m. says:

    Hey, that's all you need. As long as they come to you, I don't think it matters where you are. I love it when some inspiration hits, no matter the place or time.

  16. jillian m. says:

    Thank you! Yes, me too. You can organize your workspace as such, but you can't force yourself to be creative there. I learned that.

  17. jillian m. says:

    Hey, you never know. Great, powerful, genius thoughts can come at any time. Multi-tasking can be kind of soul-sucking, so I try to have some time for myself, at least a little bit every day.

  18. Lena at A Crimson Kiss says:

    It depends on my mood, too–I do some of my best "critical" creative thinking in the car, but find I get my best creative work done at my kitchen table or in bed!

  19. Ashley says:

    ohhhh yes. I have three:

    1. In the shower: maybe because water is therapeutic?
    2. While driving: Probably where I get my best thoughts…maybe because of the motion?
    3. While traveling, anywhere: This is where I get truly inspired.

  20. Punctuation Mark says:

    oh my! i have different places around my house… but no matter what I have to have great lighting… that is my number one requisite!

  21. little t says:

    In the shower too definitely- or anytime really when you have a moment to not think about anything (but you're not trying to think of anything either!)

  22. Jamillah says:


    you're welcome, friend :p.

  23. jillian m. says:


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