Fierce on the Page Community:
The Art of Incubation

When we are not actively working toward a stated goal, we tend to call it procrastination. Often this is accurate. However, procrastination is sometimes confused with incubation, the process of ruminating and allowing ideas the time they need to take root.

Fierce on the Page Chapter 29 invites you clarify this distinction for yourself. And now I’m inviting you to share what you’ve noticed here.

How do you distinguish between incubation and procrastination in your writing life? Are you giving yourself enough space to become receptive to illumination? How can you build in some breathing room and hold space for what you are inviting in? When could slowing down actually be the most efficient way to move toward your goal?

I’d love to hear in the space below. Let’s see if we can go deeper into our understanding and practice of incubation, together.

4 Comments on “The Art of Incubation”

  1. I like the term ruminating. For me, it most closely describes the phase of writing that comes before setting words to the page. In my process of writing, it often comes during the research phase. I purposely do not write during this stage because to do so would be premature and the work would suffer greatly. Ideas are not just linear things set on a white background. They are like spaghetti noodles- all touching each other and making associations sometimes that we are not even conscious of, allowing new ideas to infiltrate and make changes and mature. The more I wait, (read that- not procrastinate), the better my writing becomes.

    1. I love that you have a language and a process established for calling forth work. Thank you for sharing these with us! I like the term ruminating, too…

  2. This chapter helped articulate some of the reasons I get uncomfortable with programs that prescribe a certain number of words on the page as the marker toward the goal. I’m able to get lots of words on the page if I have to, but sometimes untangling the mess this creates is more trouble than it’s worth… Grappling through the process of incubation by embracing the “requisite realm of disorientation” rather than allowing the confusion to throw me into procrastination is so helpful. I can now see myself as on the road that illumination requires. And having built an actual house, I can picture the period as waiting for the “cement of intent” to dry, creating a strong foundation for my work. ..So thanks.

    1. Waiting for the cement of intent to dry: what a fabulous image! So great to hear from you, Lori! Here’s to being with the liminal space of incubation as it unfolds.

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