| David Gane

Thinking/Not Thinking

Like most people, most of my ideas come to me in the shower or on my daily dog walk. I’m not going to delve into the reasons why, but instead focus on a counter-idea.

While I often work to set up proper conditions so that I’ll find answers to a question that plagues me, it isn't always welcome.

When I was working on You, The Audience, much of the post fell into place after I found the Murakami quote. Yet, there was a moment while in the shower that I had to actively force myself not to think about what I wanted to write. The reason was simple: I didn’t want to expel all my energy on the post before I got to the page.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like to write down every little idea that comes to me, because if it’s good enough, it needs to have some staying power.

I also feel that putting too much down on the page before you get to the actual draft of a story bleeds the energy out of the writing. To put it another way, if I already know everything that’s going to happen, what’s the point of doing the work.

I’ve said that Ang and I like to entertain each other with our writing, but we also need to entertain ourselves. My favourite moments in writing are when I come up with a character choice or piece of backstory that is as exciting to me as I hope it is to the reader. I will often text Ang to tell her what just happened and wait until she finally replies. If she doesn’t respond accordingly, I get bummed out.

Therefore, the strategy is that it's sometimes best to turn off the monkey brain that buzzes away incessantly. Tuck it away or if need be, whack it over the head and store it in a trunk in the basement of your mind, until it’s needed. That way, instead of wasting your energy worrying about what might happen, I find its best to wait and be mindful in the moment, and be open to the surprises that await.

Tags: Process

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