Ever wonder why you get good ideas in the shower?

Sep 25, 2018 | Better Writing

“Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had a good idea.”
~ Robert Tucker

People smile when I quote that line from Robert Tucker. Everyone knows that if you take a shower, you will have a good idea. If you understand why, you can identify other situations where you’re likely to be creative.

Showers have three things that help you get good ideas. Once you know what those things are, you can identify other situations where the good ideas flow.


Unless you’re running late for a big meeting, a shower is a relaxed experience. We get good ideas when we’re relaxed.

Put Your Body on Autopilot

You don’t think much about what you’re doing when you take a shower. That leaves space in your mind for new ideas. Other activities like that are walking, exercising, and doing housework. You can come up with more.

Let Your Mind Roam Free

When you take a shower, your mind can roam free and forage for good ideas. Don’t occupy it with anything else.

I often listen to audiobooks when I walk. But when I’m stuck on a writing problem, I don’t listen to an audiobook. I free my mind, so good ideas can bubble up.

There’s One Problem with A Shower

Showers are a great time for getting ideas, but by the time you climb out of the shower and dry off, you’ve forgotten what they were. Generating ideas is important, but they’ll fly away if you don’t capture them.

When you can talk, a small digital voice recorder is my tool of choice to capture ideas. Some people take notes on their phone.

Sometimes you can’t talk. I’ve never tried using my digital voice recorder to capture an idea while I’m in church, but I’m sure it wouldn’t go over well. A boring sermon releases my mind to roam free, and I’ll get several good ideas. Since I can’t use a voice recorder, I use index cards to capture them. Some people carry a small notebook for the same purpose.

Bottom Line

The best situations for getting good ideas are times when you’re relaxed, your body is on autopilot, your mind can roam free, and you can capture the good ideas you get.

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