But it's clear to me that I need time for thinking built into my day if I'm going to make progress on my research, or on constructing a syllabus, or on a review, or nearly any other creative endeavor on my plate. My thinking time on most days consists of my walk to and from the office, about 10-15 minutes at a leisurely stroll, longer if I stop to get a beverage.
During the two mornings a week I'm spending off campus for intensive work, I've found myself more consciously taking time for thought. As I lift my eyes from book or computer, stare out the window, and try to formulate or follow an idea, I feel more like I'm waiting for inspiration than usual. In fact, I sometimes feel like a parody of an academic, surrounded by books, scratching my chin, gazing absent-mindedly into space.
It's not so much waiting, though, as processing. In no more than a few moments, I'm able to see clearly what the next step is, and decide whether it follows on the course I'm currently plotting, or need to make a note of the insight to be pursued later. Does that mean I'm more like a bricklayer than an artist?