In a recent conversation with my oldest son brought up the subject of meditating because one of his teachers made them do yoga as a means of de-stressing them.
He said he didn’t understand why mostly because part of the time she had them listening to a recording of a lady talking them through a meditation, noting that he didn’t even listen to it. Then he said, “I can never empty my mind completely because when I try story ideas start popping in.” He blamed this on ADHD.
I’m sure, from what Bonnie has told me, she’d concur with him. Based solely on the number of partially finished stories she has I’d say she is constantly bouncing from one story to the next. I’ve seen her work on at least two different stories at once to the point of putting the wrong heroines name in one manuscript because she’d been thinking about the other one.
She blames this on ADD.
I blame it on being a writer.
Because I don’t have ADHD or ADD.
My mind is always going and if it doesn’t have to concentrate on the task at hand it will be either creating new stories or working out the details in the one I’m currently writing. Even in my sleep I’m working on stories. Ask any writer and they’ll tell you of a story they got from a really good dream.
Unlike my sister, I don’t generally work on more than one story at a time. Although I do have several right now that I need to finish and or edit. I’m not usually writing in one and thinking of what happens in another. Unless of course, like a couple of my books, they have the same characters in both books.
My point is writers think differently.
A writer’s mind is always full of ideas and more come all the time.
I doubt it is possible to empty a writer’s mind completely because their characters will see the empty stage and come out to play. If you have multiple stories they might even contend for time. If none of your current characters want to talk to you a new one will rush out and ask for attention.
It’s almost funny how often new ideas come.
That’s why one of the best gifts to give a writer is notebooks and writing implements so they can always have something to jot a quick idea down on. The quickest ways to lose a story idea is to not get any part of it written down.
Though once you get even a few bones down you have to figure out if there is any meat to the story. Because without that meat, it isn’t worth writing.
I’ve lost story ideas because I didn’t get them written down.
I’ve discarded story ideas because some aspect of it didn’t seem plausible or it just wasn’t going to work.
I’ve stopped working on other stories because there wasn’t anything there to make a good story (the meat).
I’ve also left stories because I couldn’t figure out what happened next. This was because the characters weren’t talking to me. Without their input I couldn’t figure out what happened next or where I went off the rails. Those stories stalled.
Other stories I’ve got I’ve only been given a scene or two and I still can’t figure out how to make those into a full story. Of course, those characters aren’t talking to me yet, so no help at all.
I have one story idea that I dropped after trying to write one scene because I figured out I’d have to do a ton of research to do a proper job on it.
The stories that get somewhere, the ones I get to “the end”, are the ones were the characters start talking to me. They tell me who they really are and what their hopes are. Even what they are doing.
The best writing I’ve ever done was when I was typing out a scene I’d outlined for my story and one of my characters surprised me with something they said.
I went to delete it. I not only had not planned on putting that line in, I had intended not having that outcome in the story at all. However, before I removed it, I looked over what I had and thought about the character and the scene. It stayed. It worked. Sometimes your characters surprise you.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.