Friday, November 8, 2013

Showers, Elevators, and Other Small Spaces I Often Think like a Writer In

Hey all,

It’s occurred to me that I have some of my best writing-related ideas in small, sometimes cramped spaces. Or maybe small, cozy spaces.

I’ll elaborate. This morning was a rather typical morning for me since the start of the semester back in July. I woke up at some god-forsaken hour (all right, 6am isn’t really god-forsaken) with my thesis running through my head. Most people can’t get to sleep when something’s stressing them out. I have the opposite problem. I fall asleep fine. My subconscious just wakes me up before I want to wake up with a far-too-cheerful “Yo! It’s thinking time.” At this point, I wonder if it’s actually “Step In Time” or, more accurately, “Quittin Time,” but I keep these thoughts to myself.

The next step in this “fun” process is the thinking, which is an awful lot like dialogue. It goes something like this.

Brain: “So…chapter [#]….”
Me: “Go away. It’s still mostly dark out.”
Brain: “But chapter [#]….”
Me: “Really, I don’t want to do this now.”

And so on. This goes on for about an hour, during which time my end of the conversation becomes riddled with more and more curse words.

So we started around 6, right? Let’s say around…8:15, the following occurs.

Brain: “Well, you could do this.”
Me: “Look, I don’t want to say it again. I don’t…. Wait a minute.” *takes brain’s suggestion and expands on it* “That’s amazing! Chapter [#] problem solved.”

By this point it’s eight thirty, and I’ve been thinking too much to fall back to sleep. So I get up and start my day.

Notice, though, the location of this genius-ish work. Bed. Under the covers and relatively safe. It’s a small, cozy place.

I’ve experienced similar bouts of genius in the shower (those, however, usually disappear by the time I get out from under the water). I’ve also had “uhuh” moments in elevators. I’m wondering if that one’s related to the elevator pitch. Elevators just might be natural places for writers to exist. Hoping that’s not true. I’m not overly fond of elevators.

This brings up another question, though. How desperate will a writer get for inspiration? When I start hanging out under tables, I’ll know I’ve gotten to that point.

Any small, cramped, and/or cozy spaces you hang out to get ideas? Suggestions for new places for my family members to find me and then puzzle over my mind welcome.

Thanks for reading.

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