We’ll elaborate on how this applies to a writers work, but this story can apply to any creative problem solving you might encounter. Let’s discuss the history of Henri Poincaré, a famous French mathematician, who was able to form the theory of relativity that would only later be perfected by Albert Einstein.
In 1908, after studying countless mathematical equations without success, Poincaré wrote in his log: “Disgusted with my failure, I went to spend a few days at the seaside, and thought of something else. One morning, walking on the bluff, the idea came to me, with just the same characteristics of brevity, suddenness and immediate certainty.”
The log elaborates on several other instances in which he came up with brilliant solutions only when he stopped doing the work itself. Instinctively, when we spin our wheels on any problem, our conscious waking mind takes the wheel, but there’s another driver that can take us to a more productive destination. When we’re working with only our conscious mind, we limit our own ability to get inspired and download new ideas that seek to find us.