There, I said it. I can almost hear the groans and see your eyes rolling. Time wasted. Productivity lost. But before you pass judgement, let me explain.

By day, I’m a university professor and marketer extraordinaire, striving to pad the pockets of well-meaning businesses. My days are busy and demanding and take all my focus. But at night, I transform from business nerd to romance writer, immersing myself in the worlds I create. It’s a labor of love, but sometimes, I just don’t have it in me to pen one more word.


And there I sit, staring at a blank page willing the words to magically appear. Dark Awakening by Karlene Cameron.

That’s when I inevitably turn to the allure of bright candies and hypnotic music. The game is absolutely, mind-numbingly simple. So simple, my brain has the freedom to focus on other things . . . like where my plot may be headed.

And it’s in this mindless, pointless game that I generally come up with my break-through, ah-ha, that’s right,—EUREKA!—moments. The ones where I exhale a big sigh of relief because I’ve finally broken through the dull-drums and come up with some plot twist so sinister, so devious that it’s worthy of a Pulitzer.

Okay. Maybe I’m overselling the benefits of playing Candy Crush. But then again, maybe I’m not too far off. . .

According to the Scientific American,  “Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit.” Their study contends that if you need to open your mind to alternative approaches, you are better off doing that when your “filter is not so functional.”

The good news is that Candy Crush provides such a distraction. (Okay, so does yoga, but where’s the fun in that!)

What other mindless endeavors can produce such phenomenal results? The shower.

Yup, that’s right. Turns out that when we are relaxed, distracted, listening to music or even taking a warm shower, a lot of dopamine is released. And it’s this extra release of dopamine that puts us in a natural high, giving us those creative, Eureka moments.

A photo by Dominik Martin., whether it’s Candy Crush and your life journey to reach level 1240, a little Ariana Grande, some gumby-inspired yoga, or a warm bath with a glass of wine, be sure to keep your notebook handy; you never know when inspiration will strike and the creative juices will flow.

And by the way, for those of you who are curious, I’m on level 1239. Addicted? Maybe. . .

When do your best ideas come? Drop me a line below — I’d love to hear from you.