Monday, August 28, 2017

Stop Thinking

Writing getting you down?  Stressed to the point of screaming?  Have more on your plate than you feel you could ever deal with?

Stop thinking.

Now, if you know anything about me, you should be aware that I'm the last person to advocate not thinking.  I'm all for using your gray matter all the time. 

Except in this one instance. 

There's a hamster wheel in my head and that hamster is running all the time.  All.the.time.  I get tired just thinking about all the thinking.  The only time my hamster gets a break is when I'm out fishing.

Years ago, I had another author say something to the effect of 'you must get so much time to think about your writing while you're fishing.'  Nope.  I put a worm on the hook and cast out.  From then on, there's no thinking about writing.  I can think about writing on the drive there and on the drive home, but I can't think about it while I'm fishing.

It's not even intentional.  I just don't do it.  I've even tried to think about writing while I'm fishing.  I think about writing for maybe a minute or two and then it drifts away and I'm back to watching that bobber. 

Of course, I'm never not thinking.  While I'm out fishing, though, it's all subconscious.  There's no active thinking going on.  Sometimes when I'm out there, I'll get an epiphany... afterwards.  In the car.  After I've gotten home and cleaned up.  Not while I'm there.

Now, I realize not everyone can, or even wants to, fish.  But clear your mind of everything.  Shake the Etch-a-Sketch.  Wipe the slate.  Empty the boxes that are stacking up. 

Find your quiet, happy place.  Hell, if you have a body of water anywhere near you, go to it and sit.  Watch the water, listen to the birds, etc.  If you don't, go to a park.  No park?  Sit in your yard and wipe everything out. 

Take an hour or two, if you can.  Ten minutes if you're pressed for time.  It helps me.  It might help you.  It's worth a shot, right?  What've you got to lose?  An hour sitting at your computer staring at blank space? 

Give it a whirl.

What do you do to wipe your slate?  If you haven't wiped it lately, what are you going to try next time?


  1. Wow, I can't even imagine the last time I wiped my slate! That's something I really, really need to do. Beach trip? That was probably it. Nice reminder, thanks.

    1. Definitely. And it's not like it takes a big trip. Just an hour here or there to blow the gunk out of the system. =o)

  2. Now that it's cooling down, I go for a walk. The only thing I worry about is tripping over loose gravel and landing on my nose. ;-)

    1. Walking is awesome. And no tripping over gravel, okay. Wiping the slate shouldn't hurt. ;o)

  3. I need to do this but there's too much on my slate to wipe. LOL