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My (Mental) Writing Space Examined

Riverside Geyser

So, yesterday I reached the halfway point in the NaBloPoMo month long blogging challenge which means today marks the more-than-halfway-there point. I’m on the downhill side! (I grew up with mountains, so downhill is good!) And it is Saturday. The weekend. So I’m rejoicing here on my blog with an awesome picture, courtesy of WyoJones aka the hubs (who I blogged about on Thursday).

Sixteen days into the challenge and I have yet to use one of the challenge prompts. Since they don’t have prompts for the weekends, I cast a glance over past prompts and decided to tell you a bit about my writing space…

…my mental writing space, because my actual writing space is pretty dull.

Enter at your own risk!

As we move into my mental workspace, it is a bit like a demented kaleidoscope. Ideas for novels spin past, mixed with real life to-do lists, images from books I’ve read, and what I’m hoping to eat for breakfast or lunch. For some reason I don’t mull supper much, so it doesn’t spin past this weird opening. If I’m out of my preferred chocolate, then that shows up there, though.

If you dare to pass crazy, things start to settle down a bit. The spinning images turn into a winding road, with Dr. Suess-like off shoots and signs pointing off in odd directions. If my brain were a mystery story, some of these would be red herrings trying to lure me off the path of fictional virtue. Somedays the upstart ideas take flight, promising me a much better story then the one I’m working on.

When I was a new writer, I let myself get lured off the path a lot. It took me falling off a lot of fictional cliffs before I learned to better screen the annoying things out. If an idea is particularly persistent, I’ll write it down, but I try to keep focused on my main project. I also have a next-up project path that is there in my head. It spins around the main idea, like a kind of distorted moon. My main road will sometimes veer over there, like little rest areas off a freeway. For these I also take notes, or sometimes noting down the basics of scenes that pop up out of the morass of my imagination.

The morass of my imagination lurks deep inside my head, a big bubbling, messy place. Basically this is where I get all my ideas. It smells good until I get close, then it mostly stinks. It is where bad ideas go to die, they decompose and fuel good ideas. I like to wait until the ideas are big enough crawl clear and come to me, but sometimes I get sucked into visiting. I always regret it.

At least part of the day, I have to jog over to the left brain. This is the side that runs my writing business and tries to keep my right brain from running completely amok. In here there are filing cabinets, though they aren’t precisely filed. Things have kind of gotten away from me this year. So there’s stuff stacked on the floor and papers poking out of half open drawers.

Oh look, here is my business to-do list. I wondered where it got to.

So, this is my brain. It gets a little better on Diet Dr. Pepper, but it’s still pretty scary. When I’m in the writing zone, the inside of my head is bit like the above picture, only not as pretty. It gushes and rushes, so fast, my fingers almost can’t keep up with the words. Once I typed for so many hours, the tips of my fingers went numb.

I love it when that happens. Most of the time, though, writing is like excavating the inside of my head. That is probably why people die in my books.

How about you? What does your office look like? Or the inside of your head. Comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket (worth $50 in honor of NaBloPoMo). It won’t clean up your office, but your morass will smell better. Winner is announce the first blog post of the new month. 🙂

Perilously yours,
Perilous Pauline's signature
When Pauline isn’t scaring herself with what is inside her head, she spills words onto blank pages (okay, blank computer pages, which is way easier on her fingers). She’s spilled enough words to fill up 13 novels and some short stories, though many characters died in the writing of her books. To find out more about her books, pop over to her website. Or check out the navigation bar above. 🙂

cover art for The Key

When Sara Donovan joins Project Enterprise she finds out that what doesn’t kill her makes her stronger…

You can buy this adventure on Amazon in digital and audio.

Also available in used print editions. Prime members can borrow it for free. 🙂

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