Monday, April 21, 2014

O: On and Off

When I write my mind goes through a process that I call the Incubation Period. This is when I have an idea. A really vivid idea. I've probably jotted down quite a few notes but I'm not ready to write much down yet.

I'm not ready to do a lot of research.

I'm not even doing outlines or character sketches.

I have an idea and I can't think about anything else but I have no tangible evidence of productivity. I have no output. I stare out of windows and talk to myself inside my head. I relate everything that happens around me to my idea and --life willing --I might spend a day in my room reading poetry that reminds me of the idea. I don't get a lot of laundry or dishes done and I space out a lot at work.

This is the part where I daydream. This is the part where the story really takes shape inside me.

Unfortunately this is the part I can't turn on and off. It's there or it isn't.

I can sit down and will myself to research or outline or draft or edit but the incubation --the part where the idea creates its own life --only happens when it wants to.

I can also stop any of those processes and work on other responsibilities but incubation is a state of mind. Physically I might be attempting diligence but my mind is somewhere else. My friends and bosses tend to notice this.

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