Friday, September 3

A little downtime for my brain

Most of the time, my brain is in continual motion. Not necessarily used for rocket science, but in motion nonetheless. At work (restaurant) I am constantly evaluating what needs to be done next, who's ticket is ready, where's those mozzarella sticks, looks like they need crayons at A2 and did I remember the ketchup?

At home, I'm in a different mindset of work. (website designer) I need to change the graphic on the front page, I need to update the blog post, can I put javascript here? what does he mean change it to blue? connect the paypal account and set up the shopping cart by friday.

Then I turn into a writer, and zoom, off my brain goes in another direction. Or three directions depending on which ms I'm working with. After he levitates and saves the cat, does he still go play dodgeball? He kisses her first, so it should be in his POV. Where the heck did that plot hole come from? Ok, if he takes her for a ride on his motorbike, and it starts to rain and they end up in an inn and.....

My brain seems to constantly be in motion.

But too much motion can stump the writing process. So what to do?

Invent a little down time for the ol' brain. Driving in the car. Setting the book I'm reading at night aside for a few minutes before I fall asleep. Working out. I find at quiet times like those, when my brain isn't constantly jumping from one thing to the next, is my best thinking time. Sometimes it's nothing more important than just thinking about what to wear on Saturday night. Sometimes the next entire chapter in my ms will suddenly make an appearance and all the little details will work themselves out. Sometimes I'll suddenly have a flashback - augh! i forgot to get the ketchup for C2!!!

Whatever appears when my brain is more restful always amazes me. Things that have been shoved to the back for the day, for the week suddenly appear and with it, occasionally a germ of a story idea.

Even when my brain is switched off into non-thinking mode (brain play time) still finds a way to get a few snippets in there. =)

When is your best thinking time?




  1. When I'm working out, for sure. Treadmilling, swimming, whatever. I can engage my body with the workout and leave a little of my brain to think on whatever -- dinner tonight, is chapter 1 really okay, what the heck am I gonna do with bebe's hair...that kind of thing.

  2. Driving alone. Especially if it's a route I know well and don't have to worry about. And the shower. I've gotten a lot of good plotting done in the shower, but you want to not ruin it by flipping on the tv before you get a chance to jot down some notes. Oh, at the moments just before I fall asleep. Last night I figured out where to start my next chapter and that had been perplexing me.

  3. Yup - working out. The repetitive motion of the elliptical machine (as much as I loathe it) enables me to solve any plotting problem. That said, I've had trouble w/too many things on my brain at once, too, and I highly recommend meditation. Even if it doesn't feel like it is working - it is!

  4. As funny as this sounds, at work sometimes. I'm the jewelry specialist, and putting it out is boring and dull. It's usually done before 10:00 AM and the store is quiet. I can think all I want.

  5. margie...forgot about the shower..that's a good one!

  6. d'ann...i get little notes done at work....usually someone will say something and it'll spark. i run for a piece of scrap paper and jot it down. i have thousands of pieces of paper now! one day i'll get organized...

  7. kristi...working out is a big one for me, especially if it's a video i've done a million times..the body goes one way, the brain another....=)

  8. I'm with the shower...also when I'm brushing my teeth and making those weird faces at the mirror. The best/worst time is when I'm trying to fall asleep and I can't because I'm thinking about my ms. I finally bought a digital voice recorder to record ideas, but I haven't used it yet.

  9. jen..i bought a recorder last year...i have it sitting beside the bed....sometimes i take it in the car with me too!

  10. I'm also going to use the recorder to record my husband's snoring. He claims he doesn't. Ha. I just have to figure out how to use the voice activated button...