Every once in a while my writer’s mind will surface from the deep belly underworld of my Mariana Trench-like mind to breath the normal air of my surroundings. What is it that I find when this happens?
Normal things, mostly. Like baseball, for instance. I’m not a writer when I’m a baseball fan. Everything turns off and I can focus for enjoyment on a game.
Cooking. This is another good one. I’ll become embroiled in a cinnamon roll or up to my elbows in a white sauce, far away from the twirling tributaries of my mind.
I suppose there are other activities which bring me back to sanity and let me be a normal human being, but other than these few items, I find that my writer’s mind is a constant dynamo, a steam engine sailing through the open plains, heading to Promontory Point and onward to the California Gold Rush.
I can’t watch a TV show or a movie without being a critic, either wondering why the writer of the script got this job or thinking how brilliant it was, wishing I had thought of it.
Exercising is the worst – or the best – depending on the day. Walking the hill behind my house with my ear buds blasting is a sure fire way to get my writer’s mind working into overload.
It is so easy for me to get sidetracked with a thought. I want to chase the rabbit down the hole every time. I want to take every scenario that pops in my mind and see where I can take it to.
Often times, a random phrase will pop in my mind and I’ll force myself to sit down and write a short play about it. It could be anything. “The armadillo said ‘yes’.” At this moment, this random phrase was the first thing that popped into my head. I have no idea what it means, but it sounds like an excellent start to a short play. I shall write it and let you know how it turns out.
Now I can’t get that phrase out of my head: “The armadillo said ‘yes’.” I just stopped writing this post and morphed into a trance-like state repeating this phrase, wondering what it could mean. Then I realized that I just proved my point.
Which is what?
That every once in a while writers emerge from their thoughts and have a momentary lapse into sanity.
But for the most part, don’t try to understand us. People often ask me how I think of things to write about. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that it is probably not the right question to ask. The question to ask is “how do you not think of things to write about”? This question is much easier to answer. I do the few things (like baseball and cooking) which bring me back to the surface and let me breath the normal air.
I won’t be up for long, so make sure to catch me when you can.