Writer’s Brain

28 Dec

Everyone who has any experience in the matter knows about Mommy Brain, that forgetful, absent-minded state many expectant mothers experience.  This is, I believe, caused by her natural pre-occupation with the little person she is carrying; thinking about every little thing she eats, making sure she’s not sitting beside the guy who’s smoking in the park, concerned that she’s getting too much, or not enough exercise, when her next check-up is, how many weeks along she is as of this nanosecond.

I have been experiencing Writer’s Brain.  It is very similar to Mommy Brain.  How are the characters developing, how long before the first draft will be completed, where in the story am I, are things going too fast, or dragging on too slowly, will the readers like it, what will I name it?  So many questions, so few answers.

How do I know I have Writer’s Brain?  Well, I attempted to attend a meeting that had been cancelled.  I had been in the room, apparently, when the topic of not having a meeting the same week as Christmas was discussed, but it’s not in my notes.

I have been dreaming about different ways the story-line could twist around, even though it’s been plotted out already.

I have been dazing out in the middle of conversations because my mind has wandered into the other room and has begun going back over the list of possible names for the hero/love interest.

I don’t want to go anywhere for too long, because although I have been only writing in fits and starts, something might occur to me, and I don’t want to have to write out several paragraphs in the middle of a shopping expedition, again.

All I want to talk about is what her motivation is, how she’s plotting things out, where to weave in the new character, and do I really want to end the book like that?

It’s exhausting.  The annoying thing is knowing that it only gets more difficult from here.  Coming up with the idea is the easy part.  Sticking with it, writing out the rough first draft, refining it a couple of times before showing it to anyone, waiting while they read it through (two weeks never felt so long!), then accepting their critique (without bawling your eyes out for three days) and make changes as needed, then go over everything again with a fine toothed comb, beta readers, final edits, and we won’t even go into what it will take to get the thing into the hands of paying readers.

It’s a process.  It’s also a lot of work, sweat, laughter, tears, torn out hair, encouragement from loved ones, stress, growth, and elation.  You learn a lot along the way.  Mainly that you have more gumption than you thought you did.  There have already been a few times when I’ve wondered what I was doing trying to write an entire book.  And not just one, I have a whole file of story-lines, a few with a couple pages of dialogue, some with character sketches, a couple with some research done, most need piles of refining before I can go any further with them.  When I look at those I am reminded that I have too many books in me to stop before the first one is even finished.  This one may take me another year or two, plans may change, thoughts will shift and solidify, but I will always want to write books.

My advice: Stick with it. Every part of life comes with it’s own challenges. It’s inevitable that your brain will be almost constantly working on something you are passionate about (even if it’s subconsciously musing on a problem). Accept that part of you will be preoccupied, and move on with your life. It’s a well known stereotype that writers, artists, and other geniuses (ego stroking) are socially inept, so perhaps on that scale we’re doing alright. We actually reply when people greet us, we can drive without running over all the garbage bins on one side of our street, and our outfits are (usually) color coordinated.

For my own sake, I will be putting together a Facebook group for this weekly meeting that I attend. That way, next time I will be able to double check the schedule the evening before. And for the absent memory, I think a pocket calendar for my purse will be in order. That way family members will be able to point to my purse and say “Write it down, please.”

*      *      *

Until Next Time…

What are you passionate about? Do you love to knit/run/read/travel/train falcons/breed glow in the dark goldfish?

How have you doubted yourself in the past, and more importantly, how did you get yourself to continue through a difficult patch?





3 Responses to “Writer’s Brain”

  1. Laura Bennet December 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    I so get it!


  2. lucindasutherland January 6, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    So… you’re supposed to get it when my brain shuts down midway through a sentence? That’s good. I think you might


    • rosedandrea January 7, 2013 at 3:32 am #

      lol, my brain isn’t the only one that gets spinning too fast for coherent speech? Good to know I’m not in this boat alone.

      Thank you ladies. 🙂


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