Some of them pounce immediately, but others are shy, timid creatures. They hide in the undergrowth, watching with suspicion. Any sudden movement is apt to send them scurrying deep into the brambles. Never to be seen again.

When the ideas aren’t flowing, I find it helps to take your eye off the problem. Spend an hour or two hunting around. Get a general sense of the thing you’re trying to catch,  but then put it in the back of your mind and go and do something else. Preferably something mindless, but productive. Sort your files. Clean your office. If you’re at home – do the ironing. Pretend not to notice the little eyes blinking in the dim peripheries of your mind.

While you do this, free from distraction your subconscious (your most powerful processor) will run the task in the background. There is no established time for this to take. There is no progress bar. You just need to have faith that it will happen.

But eventually, maybe an hour later, maybe the next day while you’re taking out the trash, you’ll turn around…

…and there it is.