Friday, July 12, 2013

The Mind of a Writer

I've always known that I'm different.  Well, maybe quirky would be a better word.  Imaginative?  Let's go with that.

For one thing, I have no problem with solitude.  I'm perfectly content to sit alone in a room with nothing but my thoughts.  I know, it's weird.  But that's only because you don't know what's going on in my brain during such moments.  Basically, when I close my eyes a movie that has never been written begins to play.  I see characters, settings, plot twists.  Scene after scene unfolds, and yes, the characters talk.  What would a movie be without some dialog?

Ok, before you hand me over to the loony hospital, hear me out.  The writer's brain is different.  Unique.  It can see a person sitting on a bench in the park and instantly come up with an entire back story of that individual.  It sees story potential in a dying tree, the sound of an ambulance in the distance, or a dog barking in the middle of the night.  Anything can set it off.  It never sleeps.

I've always loved this about my brain.  As far back as I can remember, I've always enjoyed my brain's ability to see a mother and child shopping for groceries and instantly come up with an entire story about their lives.  It's fun and very entertaining.

But it makes me weird.  Odd.  Different.  A bit crazy to those who don't get it.

Usually, these thoughts are just in my head but every once in a while, I slip and express them to the outside world.  When I was about eleven years old, I got locked out of my house while it was raining.  I knew my parents would be home soon so I decided to wait out the storm in our shed.  As I stood in the shed, waiting, I noticed an earthworm on the ground.  My writer's brain instantly set off and before long I had established a children's story about my new found friend.  So what did I decide to do?  I told it to the earthworm, of course.  Before I got to the end, I heard my name being called followed by intense laughter.  My checks turned bright red as I stepped into the pouring rain and saw my neighbor, laughing at me, asking if I wanted to wait out the storm in her house.  It was after that incident that I realized my writer's brain was best confined to my thoughts or paper.

But I share it with you today to let others know, you're not alone!!  About a year ago, I got the privilege of hearing an award winning romance writer speak of how she comes up with her ideas.  She said something along the lines of, "Ideas come rather organically.  I can be shopping and as I hand over my money to the cashier, I start to wonder what her life is like.  I wonder if she's married, if she has children.  Then I just make up her story and roll with it."

Um....that's me!  I can't tell you how excited I was to hear that.  You see, I'm not that weird.  I just hadn't met others like myself!  But now I know, the writer's brain is different.  Quirky.  But fun!  I'm grateful for the craziness, the constant flow of ideas, the never ending imagination that creates stories out of fleeting moments.

So you see, I've never minded solitude.  I have plenty to keep me entertained.

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