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