Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

To Every Idea, There Is a Season

by Staff

Tags: cycles, education, creative process, seasons, gestating ideas, academic schedule,

4 SeasonsUnderstanding seasonal cycles can lead to more creativity and more original ideas, according to an article in Kosmos Journal. The seasons provide a framework for understanding how to develop ideas, especially in academic work. Autumn is the time for active seed planting (both intellectual and actual seeds), winter provides a period of rest and gestation, spring is when new life and ideas emerge, and summer is the time to gather physical or intellectual fruits. Many people fail to honor the individual rhythms of scholastic work in Western academia, the authors argue, especially when educators insist that students work on collective, rigid deadlines. People also tend to shortchange the “feminine” seasons of winter and spring, curtailing the true creative process by rushing from literature review to writing without allowing a patient pause for new ideas to grow. As a result, academics are left with “‘second-order’ creativity or smart mental permutation of already known ideas” and a dearth of innovation.

Lisa Gulya

Image by Keith Hall, licensed under Creative Commons.