Have you ever found that the best ideas come at the worst time? Even worse, once they start, they just keep on coming! More times than I can count, I’ve been kept up late at night writing down one story idea after another. No matter how hard I try to sleep, the only way to shut my brain up is to write down everything that comes until the flow of ideas finally stops. But why is that? Why is it that those creative ideas come at any time of day or night? One study found a particularly interesting link between creative types (artists and writers among them) and an inability to suppress the precuneus. The precuneus is a part of the brain linked to memory retrieval, self-consciousness, self-rumination, and deep pondering of ourselves and our experiences. This part of the brain is usually most active during periods of rest or inactivity—like when we’re on a stroll through nature or driving down a highway in silence. For the “average” person, this section of the brain is really only lit up when there’s no focus on daily tasks or work, when they’re letting their brains take a break. However, for writers and creative types, the precuneus is ALWAYS on. Basically, this part of the brain is always making associations between the external (the world around them) and the internal (thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, and experiences). This creates a stream of ideas that never really shuts off, and can make it hard to focus on one thing at a time. For writers (like myself), it’s a pretty clear explanation as to why an idea will suddenly pop into our heads at the worst possible times. Because our brains are always active and trying to link external and internal, the ideas will crop up as soon as those associations are made. THAT is why your brain won’t shut up, and why you’ve always got more ideas running through your mind in a flow that literally won’t stop.