Thursday, March 4, 2021

REST - Random Episodic Silent Thought #SOL21


During Laura Shovan’s February Poetry Project (absolutely fabulous), I was introduced to REST -

random episodic silent thought.  I learned from an article on the Power of Positivity website titled

“Neuroscientist Explains Five Secrets of the Creative Brain” that most of our creative ideas come

during this state.

This explains why many of my thoughts come when I least expect them - during quiet walks by myself, driving in the car, drifting off to sleep, and washing dishes.

The other night I was at the sink.  The water was running, the television was on in the background, and I was scrubbing away.  All of a sudden, a thought began to form in my head, and then it shaped itself into a line.

I turned off the water and walked to my desk, repeating it in my mind so I would not lose the words.  I sat down to write my first skinny poem that started “80’s hair was permed long locks.”  I continued to write another skinny poem beside it on current hair trends.

I finished up feeling quite accomplished.  I wrote a poem in a new-to-me form.  One of my goals for the evening was done.

I returned to my task at the sink.  The water was hot, and the dishes were disappearing.  Much to my surprise, another idea and line popped into my head - “I can’t believe it was you, dad, that tried to fix my betrayed heart.”  

Off I went to write a golden shovel poem, another new form I learned during the February Poetry Project.  Three poems were written in one night.

I have prepared myself for these times of REST.  I keep a journal by my bed, in my bag, in my purse, and in the car.  I even use my phone now to record my ideas when I don’t have a notebook.  

I will REST more and welcome these thoughts with a notebook and pen close by my side.

I am excited to be participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge!


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have never heard of REST - well this breakdown anyway! Love it!
    I was intro-ed to the golden shovel form last year during a poetry challenge as well. Thank you!

  2. Makes total sense, right?! Congratulations for taking the time to record your great ideas!

  3. Heather, it is great to see you here slicing along with us. I, too, get flash thoughts when there is no pen and paper. My notes on the iPhone makes for a great digital notebook but sometimes the thoughts come at night when I am too tired to get out of bed and write them down.Can you please send me the link to your new found poems on FB? I am having trouble finding specific colleagues Poem Project work in our threaded conversations.

  4. "All of a sudden, a thought began to form in my head, and then it shaped itself into a line."

    What an excellent sentence; I love this!! I did start using my phone recently to record sudden ideas, but I need to have a notebook on my nightstand. I think it would help! :) Happy writing!

  5. I am not familiar with "REST - random episodic silent thought" - though I certainly know the sensation! Love this. I need to investigate this more deeply. Kudos on your poetry writing!

  6. I like the term REST - I often have ideas in the shower or in the middle of the night so a bit harder to write down. So fun to have written new poems with ideas popping. I also find the more I write the more ideas I have. We will see what this month produces. Enjoy writing!

  7. Wow! It sounds like the poetry project was amazing. I definitely have these REST moments. I need to prepare myself for them as you have done. I am excited to read more of your slices.

  8. Thanks for teaching me something tonight! I found a lot of lines coming to me on my hikes in the woods this weekend, hurried back to my cabin to write as many as I could remember. Now I know that I was RESTing!


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