“Half-Asleep, Half-Awake”, Dr. Ruth Lopez Turley, Sociology

When I look for creativity, I talk to a lot of people not just in academia because people in academia tend to think a certain way. When you’re looking for creativity, you need to go to outside sources. Don’t get me wrong, I think that academics are brilliant, and they’re also very useful to talk to, but I also—I know this sounds really strange—like to keep a notebook and pen in my nightstand. Because I’ve found that sometimes I wake up, especially in the early morning hours when I’m sort of in the half-asleep, half-awake stage, and I start thinking about work-related things. Usually research questions and things that I’m trying to solve. Sometimes I get the best ideas when I’m half-asleep, half-awake. I don’t know if there’s anything to it, but I’ve found that I’ve had some really interesting ideas. Like I said, it doesn’t happen often, but it has happened regularly enough for me to actually keep a notebook. So I just jot things down and then I go back to sleep. And then sometimes I forget about it, and the next morning I see what I wrote down, and I’m like, “Fascinating!” And then I end up pursuing that.