Bryn Mooth: Ideas (Un)Leashed

Written by in Inspire

“So, What Are You Likely to be
Doing When Inspiration Strikes?”

Walking Peroni (pictured above) keeps Bryn inspired.

Some people come up with new ideas in the shower. Others keep notepads on the nightstand so they can jot down dream-inspired brainstorms. The athletes I know tell me they mentally chew on problems while they’re swimming laps or running miles.

Me? I do my best thinking at the long end of the leash. I’ve always had breakthroughs when I’m out for a walk with the dog, first with our beloved Wrigley and now with our dear Peroni (both goofy terrier mixes, if you’re interested).

As editor of HOW magazine, one of my toughest assignments was writing the Editor’s Note. I could write about anything, and that lack of parameters was paralyzing. I’d put it off and put it off until inspiration hit, and that was invariably while I was out pounding the pavement with the pup. Briskly walking to the park or to our little town square is when I find the cranial real-estate to tackle a problem or think through a worry. I’ve mentally drafted blog posts, I’ve cracked tough client projects and even found the idea for this Against the Grain contribution while cruising the neighborhood, Peroni in the lead.

Bryn Mooth is writer, editor, consultant and a popular contributor to Against the Grain. Reach out and say hello to her through her Writes4Food website or her Writes4Food Twitter Account.

There’s a common thread among these different places or times when we come up with new ideas seemingly at random—in the shower, in the pool, on a walk. First, we’re away from our desks. Which means we’re away from the project at hand, there’s no empty page or blank screen staring at us. There’s no pressure to create immediately.

Second, our minds are on something else. The problem we need to solve is tucked somewhere deep in the cerebellum, but it’s not in the forefront of our thoughts. As we circle back to it when our brains are more at ease, that’s when we tend to find solutions.

Walking (or running, swimming, whatever your activity of choice) adds a physical element to the mix. Your body’s occupied and your brain’s occupied—on your breathing, or on watching the dog lunge after a squirrel—and you’re able to think more clearly.

So, what are you likely to be doing when inspiration strikes?

  1. 11

    I totally agree! I constantly get design inspiration on morning walks with Essie (and our new companion, my 4-month old baby boy). Living in the city, inspiration is all around. I keep my phone handy to snap photos of typefaces on buildings, color palettes in flower boxes, architectural elements or other visual inspiration. Or to just jot down a quick note. And getting fresh air helps kick start the day.

  2. 05

    […] what fun! We will taste holiday cooking and meal planning tips from Bryn Mooth  off her terrific blog, writes4food. We will unwrap great ideas in paper for seasonal wedddings […]