Thinking about Writing is Not Writing, but…

Too often, I find myself thinking about writing while driving, thinking about writing while working, thinking about writing while sitting on the couch which leads to me telling myself Hey Mar, thinking about writing is not writing.
Thinking about writing is not writing but it may be just as important. I have found that a lot of my best ideas came at my laziest of moments. There have been times where I sat down to write only to come up with nothing. I’d feel sorry for myself and decide that instead of wrestling with the emptiness of my mind, I’d go take a nap. Sure, the first few seconds I’d curse myself and call myself some unflattering names but then something almost magical would happen. As I lay there in a stupor a blink of an idea would flicker. A character I’d never met would introduce itself. A scenario I hadn’t imagined would dance across my thoughts and before I knew it, I was jumping off of the couch.
Why didn’t the ideas come to me while sitting in my writing chair? Why didn’t these characters say hello when my fingers were tapping the keyboard? Why didn’t the scenario shout to me when I was sitting there staring at a blank page?
I have come to the realization that our brains need rest and much like a baby sometimes they don’t act on command. It is easy to think about what you will write when you are not writing because nothing is expected of you in that moment. Your mind is free to roam. It’s not in the spotlight so to speak therefore it is filtering out junk without you even realizing.
I think I figured it out. We have to trick our minds into thinking we are not going to write. We have to play reverse psychology with our own psyches.
If you make mental notes when you are thinking about writing, you might find a plethora of material waiting for you when you sit down to actually write.

Do you think about writing more than you write?
Where are some places you find yourself thinking about writing?
Do you agree that once you walk away from writing that your mind fills with great writing material?


Filed under audience, character, character building, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, meme, middle grade fiction, random, routine, stories, story writing, Style, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

5 responses to “Thinking about Writing is Not Writing, but…

  1. Jan

    hmmm…not sure. I sure do puzzle plot points in my sleep and while I’m supposed to be listening to my clients and making toast and walking the dog and vacuuming – god I hate vacuuming – I even hate spelling it but I’m wondering as I try and spell it if I have enough vacuuming in my novels? Or run on sentences? Or plot at all? Is this what you mean? Can I use this? In my novel I mean? Can you tell me what you’re doing and I’ll put it right straight in my novel? Like that? Huh? Or as we say in Canada – Eh?

    • Maribeth

      Jan, you are too funny. I think everything you said about sums up what I was trying to say. When you are “vacuuming” talking to clients, making toast etc you are thinking about writing but not actually writing. I curse myself many times a day for thinking about writing rather than writing and too often it seems when I sit down to write I no longer think about writing. I know, deep! 🙂

  2. I’m always thinking about writing. Which is good. This planning makes writing easier once I have a chance to sit down.

    But I do more thinking about writing than actual writing. 😐

    • Maribeth

      I agree Medeia, I often scold myself for thinking about writing more than writing. I guess we all do to an extent. I like to think that side of our brain needs to rest and cannot constantly be “on”. 🙂

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. Tea and Crumpets

    My 13-year-old daughter called me a “Lame-O” and I gave up on writing for the day. I laid my head back and took a rest. That’s when a great idea came to me for a book. I got so excited. I wrote the whole concept down. Then I tried to write the first paragraph and could not! The whole book excited me, but the actual first sentence? Cannot find it. Will have to take more naps, maybe.

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