It is the marriage of the soul with nature that...gives birth to imagination. — Henry David Thoreau
There is a small window by my desk, and I love looking out and watching the birds as they perch and sing in the bushes outside. I have one particular friend, Mr. Catbird, who has been singing almost nonstop all day every day. He has a usual branch, but I’ll often spot him singing elsewhere, only pausing to gather a small twig or piece of fluff and carry it deep into the bushes. My understanding (via Google) is that he is assisting Mrs. Catbird, who is actually building the nest.
When everything is familiar and static, it can be hard to break out of routine thought patterns.
It’s interesting how building our environment is common across species. To the best of our ability, we arrange our surroundings to suit us. In many ways, that’s wonderful. It’s much easier to be somewhere familiar, someplace that has everything we need to do our work. We know where the pens are. Then again, when everything is familiar and static, it can be hard to break out of routine thought patterns. If you’d like to offer your creativity a little boost, one easy way is to change things up by taking your work outside.
Switch It Up
You don’t have to go far. If you have safe access to a park or yard, you might want to head out into the green. Simply being surrounded by nature might prompt new thoughts, ideas, or comparisons. If you don’t have that kind of access, try sitting on a stoop, opening a window, or even using a new spot in your house. You could also write standing or sitting on the floor. Or in the shower with the water turned off. We all get all of our best ideas there, anyway. (Note: Do not take your computer into the shower, okay?) This isn’t meant to be a permanent switch; the change itself is the point. Nests are wonderful, but sometimes it helps to sing on a new branch.