In my community, the words ‘beautiful accident’ are referenced quite often. It always resonated with me at a deeper level than I felt like it should. A beautiful accident is something magnificent and ideal, and is derived unexpectedly in an area of focus. I’ve always held this silent belief that I produce some of my best material from these ‘accidents,’ but most of the time, I’m too wrapped up in a subject or way of thinking. I get caught up in the smallest details, only to feel defeated by my attempt to focus. Then, when I feel like I need to take a break from the task at hand, a new idea appears. Often times, when I’m not trying, something great happens. As amazing as it feels, it’s extremely hard to fathom the idea of not trying as a means of productivity. It feels lazy to not try. Though, that might not truly be the case.

I was so perturbed by this reasoning that I decided to take a class about thinking. This is when I learned of two methods of thinking, both of which felt very familiar. Focused Mode and Diffuse Mode. Most people know what it means to be focused but diffuse was new to me. In a Medium article about Diffused Mode vs Focused Mode, it explains that “Diffuse thinking happens when you let your mind wander freely, making connections at random. The diffuse mode of thinking does not happen in any one area of the brain, but rather all over.” Diffuse, to me, is like freestyle. The freedom in this way of thinking can certainly enhance creativity, in turn, improving the quality of metaphor which is largely about making ideas connect in unique ways.

Though I am still in the process of learning to increase my efficiency as a creative, I can now approach certain tasks with a little more understanding and intentionality. Hopefully, this information will do the same for you.