Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where Do You Write?

The Magnificent Mind
By JccKeith

We all have that place we go or that thing we do to find inspiration.  

It is amazing the stories you hear of how people found the inspiration for this article or that book.  

You would also be amused to hear people’s little idiosyncrasies for how or when they write.  As for me, I have my own oddities when it comes to writing. 

  • Honestly, I come up with most of my ideas and I write most of my stories without pencils, pens, paper, a computer or even a typewriter.  I’m a little strange as I write most of my stories in my head.  Long before I whip out that pencil and paper or even the laptop, I already have every word thought out in advance.  It may seem a little strange but thinking up ideas and thinking out story lines happens for me when I’m busy doing other things. 

If you see me standing in line at the grocery store, I am probably lost in thought about how my characters interact in some way.  Pass me on the highway because I’m driving too slow, yep, you guessed it, I’m lost in thought about how a story plays out.  Even catch me drifting off into my own little world while others around me at a bar, at a party or at any other meet up are chatting away – yeah that’s right, I’m plotting out a story, writing and editing every word until it is perfect. 

It happens in the oddest of places at the most inconvenient times.  Someone will say something and it will spark an idea that just spirals into a storyline.  I’ll be watching television and someone will use a word which interests me or will say a line that inspires me.  It doesn’t take much to set off my imagination. 

Why is this important, well, it explains a lot about my mind.  I have found I write best when the television is on, usually on a sci-fi show like Stargate.  I’ve seen every episode at least a dozen times, it’s one of my favorite shows, and yes, all of the Stargate franchises.  I’m not really watching the show or even paying attention.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, a part of my brain is occupied.  If I’m in public, that part of my brain is occupied by my environment and things going on around me.  When I’m driving, that part is distracted by music which I usually have blasting.

This brings me to my theory on the human mind, or at least on my mind.  I think there is a creative, imaginative part of the mind that plays second fiddle to the logical, reasoning part of the brain.  Our primary focus as people is to function, to interact with others, to go about our day, make decisions and all sorts of other life sustaining activities.  It is hard to turn off this rationality and difficult to just ‘turn on’ our creative side.  It is why so many have a hard time finding inspiration to write.  Most of us don’t get to pick and choose when to be creative and brilliant.  We don’t have the luxury of just saying, alright, now is the time, let’s have those ideas trot on out now. 

So to those like me, who do not have the option of when to write or when to be extraordinarily brilliant, I say, try a little distraction.  Get that annoying everyday mentality out of the way by occupying it with something else in the background.  Pick a time, pick a show or a song or an activity and let the ideas tumble out unimpeded.  It might surprise you what will happen when your conscious mind is not in charge.  It’s kind of like meditation only instead of being relaxed and de-stressing; you are opening up to your creative side.  
  • Call it creativity meditation.

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