Saturday, 21 April 2018

When you pay attention to boredom, it gets unbelievably interesting. —Jon Kabat-Zinn

There’s nothing like a bright shiny new idea. My heart flutters, my hands get a little clammy, and as excitement races through my veins, I head to the laptop to get the thought down. Inevitably, I stare at the essence of the concept and then become a blank slate. As in barren, empty, blindingly vacant. No grand plot, no intricate details, no sense of what I am supposed to do with this glossy image in my mind. It used to frustrate me, but now I know what to do.

I bore my brain into submission.

Others may need stimulus to spark creativity. I need bland mind-numbing tasks. In the winter, I get on the elliptical. I despise the elliptical, not simply because I am not a fan of exercise, but also because it feels like such a waste of time. As the minutes tick by, my mind becomes desperate to escape the monotony. It digs beyond the stagnant frontal lobe into the corners, unearths that idea, and starts to rub it to a polish again. A little plot insight here, a little character trait there, and suddenly my brain is running faster than my legs. I quite literally chase my story, huffing and puffing the plethora of particulars into my voice recorder.

At this time of year, I don’t use the elliptical to outsmart the stubborn creative cortex of my brain; I use gardening. More specifically, weeding. Now, there is no more boring outdoor task on a beautiful spring day than kneeling in your flower beds and pulling out quack grass, clover, and creeping vetch (Yes it’s a weed. I looked it up. J). And while some may claim it’s satisfying in the end, it doesn’t negate that it is also one of the most tedious gardening tasks. Which is great for me. With each weed I yank, my mind recedes from reality and returns to its own garden, taking those seeds and nurturing them into full-grown stories.

I have a bright shiny new idea. It’s for a series. There’s a lot of thinking that needs to be done. I may have the nicest gardens on the block this year. J





5 comments:

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing! Your writing process is much like mine has been. I use a treadmill in the winter and now I am gardening. It does get my mind to focus...at least it has in the past. (You may have noted my blog is at a standstill). Now, since December, when my mother moved into a retirement home, my mind has been focused on her needs. She is 92 and there have been numerous doctor appointments. Plus, she lives one hour away...so I'm on the road a lot these days. I've been doing a lot of self-talks lately about why I still can't write. I do write a garden column in our newspaper so that's something, but I need to get back to my novel. I have a sequel. Argh! But here I am rambling... Bravo on getting a post up and your writing successes!! Still have not read your latest but plan to!! FYI on sharing blog posts from FB....I could not comment and the print was too small. Makes me wonder if we need to put a link inside FB post. Just a thought. Might have been a glitch on my computer or maybe a setting problem?

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    1. My philosophy with my staff was always life first. You cannot give your best if you are worried about those you love. Take care of that and the rest falls into place. Focus away on your mother. You will never regret it. When it is time, the words will come.

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  2. Gardening has always been a great way for me to work through plots and scenes. Washing dishes, too.

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    1. Washing dishes! I used to learn all of my lyrics while doing that. Must try it again. :0)

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