Good things happen when you unclog your brain

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A wonderful, amazing, heart-lifting thing just happened!

On April Fools Day I gave up reading fiction books for a month, because I recognized that I was treating other people’s imaginings as a drug to avoid thinking too deeply about my own stuff.

This was hard! My ever-ingenious brain has been frantically finding alternatives – Sudoku, anyone? How about we just spend hours scanning through the blogiverse? Hey – look – here’s a pile of seed packets I haven’t fully comprehended!

But sooner or later I still had to go to bed, and getting into bed and not opening a book … well, frankly, it felt unnatural, even a little obscene. What was I supposed to do – just turn out my light and GO TO SLEEP???

Apparently yes.

Well, four days in, my brain went nuts. Starved of fantasy from outside sources, it created one of its own.

I have a whole new book sitting inside my head. All I have to do is write it down.

It’s been years since I wrote anything I felt really good about … years since I managed even a simple short story. This blog has been something of an outlet – an unclogging aid, an opportunity to play with words and memories without getting too hung up on perfection. After all, no one else gets to decide whether or not it’s good enough to publish, right? And although I don’t have many subscribers, there are several of you whose virtual company I really enjoy. In fact I’m writing this post specifically for you – you know who you are – because we’ve visited at your place and mine, within Blogland. I know you know (most of you – some of you are young enough that these miseries are still ahead of you) what it means to be blocked, and to wonder if you’ve fallen prey to “use it or lose it”, and to be scared that you may never write anything you truly like ever again, and to be frustrated to the point of screaming because you have a great character whose story you’re dying to tell – only there is no plot.

Anyway. I’m about to undock my laptop and head over to the library, or maybe a coffee shop, and write down the entire story before I lose it. No, I’m not planning to write a novel in a day, but I have the full story – the characters, the plot, conflict and resolution and all the wonderful rest of it – even whole chunks of dialogue. This has never happened to me before … I’ve always started with an idea and some characters, and let the story unfold.

I am very happy.

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About Belladonna Took

Into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, at constant risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic. A wife, a mom, a daughter and sister, kind of a grandma. Until recently a full-time dog rescuer, now more concerned with rescuing myself. User of dog hair as accessory, decor and garnish. Technical writer, strategic thinker, occasional entrepreneur. Voiceless poet and storyteller. Born again Christ-follower and former missionary schoolteacher chewing on some uncomfortable questions. Ignorer of rules, challenger of assumptions, believer in miracles. Skeptical libertarian, equal opportunity despiser of politicians and assholes. Gonnabe gardener, wannabe beekeeper, Monsanto-hating tree-hugger. Morbidly obese chocaholic, with a horse I don't ride because I might break him, and if not he would probably break me.

18 responses »

    • Hi, Michelle – thank you so much for stopping by! I figured you would “get it” … 🙂 I have just spent a completely wonderful chunk of time sitting in Starbucks, mapping the whole thing out. I don’t kid myself that it isn’t going to require hard work and perseverance – even typing fast it’s amazing how LONG it takes to get a page of story down! But … this is a book I believe in. So ja, I’m in the saddle, feeling a little breathless, but have every expectation that I will enjoy the ride!

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  1. Wow! Inspiration! Prior to reading this, I couldn’t imagine what benefit one could gain from NOT reading. And now I see! I look forward to reading your story/novel some day, whenever it is ready.

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    • It is unbelievably hard. I have all this time, suddenly, that makes a nonsense of my previous claims to have “too much to do”. And in this time, my mind is constantly at a whirl. I used to feel faintly contemptuous of people who had to have the TV or radio going all the time for “background noise” … didn’t realise how much inner noise my compulsive readng was generating.

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  2. Congrats on the break-through…but when you said you gave up reading fiction for a month on April Fool’s Day, I was sure you were kidding. You’d have to be. I can’t imagine totally giving up reading unless I had no choice. But then, I feel that way about chocolate too.

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    • My brain kept insisting it was an April fool’s joke too…lol. As for chocolate … sigh … I fell prey to another Easter bunny. It is lurking in my bedroom as I write this. TOMORROW I will be carb-free again! Thanks for stopping by… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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