Good morning! As some have noticed, there has been a lack of blog posting lately. I have excuses. Oh, yes, I do have excuses.
“We were away.” For one weekend. Nope, not good enough.
“The puppy, you see, takes up a lot of time.” He does, yes. But there are also times when he is sleeping for an hour or more. Second down.
“But he sleeps a lot in the dining room, and I can’t lock myself in the den because I need to know when he’s awake and potentially doing things he shouldn’t.” You work on a laptop. Portable. It can be moved anywhere. Third down.
“And then there is all the other stuff I have to do- laundry, etc.” See number two above. Also, he has a crate for times when he can’t be watched as closely as he needs. Fourth down conversion, no good.
I find myself not sitting at the computer as much as I used to. And that means not only are blog posts not being written neither is anything else. This is not a good thing. Obviously, there is a problem. I find the things I am working on at a standstill, with no clear picture of where to go. New ideas? Nothing that excites me or makes me want to get right to it.
What it comes down to, is lack. I won’t say “writer’s block,” because I don’t believe in that. Lack of what, you ask? Inspiration, motivation, drive, call it what you want. It isn’t there. I thought I didn’t know why, but then something happened.
I will preface this story by saying I have a nice backlog of podcasts I listen to. I try to get to at least one of each series a day, but that doesn’t happen all the time, and lately, even that has fallen aside. So-
I was listening to an episode of Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing (http://www.murverse.com/podcasts) that was recorded back in November during National Novel Writing Month. This particular piece was about writing yourself into a corner and how to get out of it. Quite appropriate, because that it exactly where I feel I am: stuck in a corner, with all these “things” surrounding me, and no way out in sight. The thing that struck me was the part where she talked about the brain being too active. I’m paraphrasing and stretching her thoughts to my situation, but the basic idea was hers. Credit where credit is due, of course.
The thought process is that when you load up your conscious brain with “stuff” all the time, you don’t give your subconscious time to do what it does best- work in the silences. I haven’t given myself enough of those silences lately, I think. I put on music, and find myself humming or singing along. I put the TV on and am engaged in a show. I pick up a book and focus on the reading. And then there is the internet. Oh, yes, that lovely, tempting, alluring, vast sinkhole of a brain trap. There is always something to look at, listen to, read, respond to, and otherwise keep the conscious part of the brain entertained there. You know, there is a reason that people say they get there best ideas in places like the shower. In there, you are not using your conscious brain to do anything. You are pretty much on automatic. And that lets your subconscious come out and play.
Mary Robinette Kowal is taking a month off from the internet. She will, admittedly, be in a place where the internet is spotty and expensive, but she has done similar things before. It helps with creativity and allows for getting things done. And Neil Gaiman is taking a six month hiatus from social media, because he says he is never bored anymore, and he gets his best ideas when bored. Those two, plus the ISBW episode mentioned above got me thinking. Perhaps I need to be more bored, or more precisely, to give myself more silent spaces.
With that in mind, I am taking the rest of the month off. No blogging, Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, or any other internet space fillers. I will finish the book I am reading, and not pick up another. (That’s going to wreak havoc with my reading goal for the year, but so be it.) I will still read email, of course, and if something monumental happens, I may decide to blog it. But, in general, I will be on vacation on a deserted island with no internet or iPod. I will make it quiet, and hopefully, boring around here. I am going to attempt to take a month long equivalent of a nice, hot shower. With a little luck, it will clear the mental sinuses, open the brain passages, and let the ideas begin to flow again. Will it work? Darned if I know. I figure it’s worth a try. All y’all have fun without me, and I’ll see you in April, ‘k?
Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy by M.A. Kropp is a set of short fantasy stories. Meet wizards, imps, gangster angels, and frogs in this group of varied tales of magic and mischief. Escape from the everyday into worlds of fantasy with Six of One: A Collection of Short Fantasy.
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