Overnight Incubation

Sean Kelly's Creativity Seminar explores the miraculous percolation that can occur in the mind at night, before the coffee starts its own percolation in the morning. When we turn off our conscious mind, the subconscious goes to work on our creative project, while we're thinking about other things -- and especially when we're asleep. But, only if we've done the research and the preparation, and explored the possibilities the night before.

The brilliant performer and writer John Cleese discovered something additionally remarkable about how a good night's sleep can relieve a dilemma for us:
"If I was trying to write a sketch at night, and I got stuck or couldn't think of an ending or I couldn't see how to continue the sketch, I would go to bed.

And when I woke up in the morning, I made myself a cup of coffee and went to my desk and looked at the problem.

Not only was the solution to the problem immediately apparent to me, but I couldn't even remember what the problem had been the previous night. I couldn't understand why I couldn't see what the solution was."

Cleese also reveals another profound discovery about the creative, and uncreative, mind:
"To know how good you are at something requires the same skills as it does to be good at that thing.

Most people who have absolutely no idea what they're doing have absolutely no idea that they have no idea what they're doing. It explains a great deal of life.

It explains, particularly, Hollywood."

Selected Reading