Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Writing in my head

We woke up Monday morning to snow. It doesn't snow too often here, (maybe 3 or 4 times a year), so the kids were very excited. After I got them bundled up, they went out to play and I went out to SHOVEL.

After about 10 minutes they got cold and went inside. Unfortunately, I was only about 1/10 through shoveling, so I had to stay outside in the BITTER cold and shovel for another hour. (I'd driven on our driveway, so a lot of this time was spent scraping off the tire track ice).

And you know what? It was time well spent. I sometimes love quiet repetitive jobs, because my brain can wander wherever I need it to go. I've written many scenes in my head while shoveling snow, driving, mowing the lawn, and doing dishes.

I am kind of envying you Australians--with your nice warm (or miserably hot) winters, but I'll take the bitter cold and snow if it means productive writing time.

Do you ever write in your head while you work? When is your most productive thinking time?

37 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm happy for your snow! I hate thinking of this time of year without snow - crazy Canadian here. I shovel with my iPod on and my brain churning - you can solve a lot of problems (of the world and of the ms) while you shovel :)

Shelli said...

yes when I organize closets or fold laundry. i think its cuz your brain gets into a groove and doesnt have to think so other stuff comes through.

now go have some tea :)

Janna Qualman said...

Absolutely! Exactly like you said.

V. S said...

When I am in class and my math professor is lecturing on...well, yeah, I wasn't paying attention :)

Matt said...

Snow sounds pretty good. But not shoveling. I must live in the only place in America still using air conditioning in December.

I'm a pilot so when the autopilot's on, I'm writing in my head. I do a lot of writing in my head.

Bethany Mattingly said...

I write in my head during classes and in the shower. However, my most productive writing time is when I'm supposed to be doing something else...like homework, or paying attention in biology class. :)

Jade said...

I have to tick the miserably hot box.

I do a lot of writing/thinking at work. I'm a gallery assistant so I'm basically walking around the galleries ignoring visitors. Then I jump in the fire cupboard and jot things down on the back of incident report forms.

Tamika: said...

The snow looks heavenly! Picture perfect. My mind wanders best while I'm driving alone. Great scenes spring up, but I have no way of writing them down!

Melissa said...

The concept of snow is foreign to me. We haven't had any here in eight years.

I would love to think of scenes when I'm folding laundry or washing dishes, but my youngest daughter is usually doing something that requires my undivided attention. However, I can get some planning done when I'm driving. If she isn't screaming.

Lisa and Laura said...

It's weird, if we're in the middle of a project I'll do a lot of plotting while I'm at the gym. Lots of time to think on the elliptical!

But if we're in between projects and in idea mode I'll randomly get flashes of things while I'm watching movies, reading books or just screwing around on the internet.

Catherine Denton said...

Washing dishes and collecting trash. (Wish I could say when my masseuse was giving me a massage.)

Rhiannon Hart said...

We get miserably, drizzly cold here down in Melbs, but not shoveling snow cold! Right now it's sunny and warm and all I can manage is blogging and reading on the balcony today. But that's me just as much as it's the weather ;)
I get flashes of inspiration while shampooing. Must be the brain massaging I'm doing.

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh, work is the best time to think for writing. Dishes, laundry, other virtually mindless tasks--they're perfect!
Sorry that you had to work so hard in the snow.

Bane of Anubis said...

Yeah, when I'm doing repetitive, mindless work (or driving), it's a great time to explore the dark corner of my mind. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess), my day job requires the hamsters to run quite frequently.

Tracy said...

I wish I could say it only snows a couple of times a year. Gotta love the Canadian prairie! :)And housework is great for story ideas. Work, the gym, driving with my husband (well, he's driving, and I'm thinking) - they're all conducive to creative productivity.

Kristi Faith said...

Yup when I'm doing dishes or other housework. Of course, random ideas also pop into my head at almost any given moment, which can be a curse.

Erica said...

Nice. When I've shoveled- the few times- I was thinking- "I'm moving. That's it. House is on the market. Why do I put up with this!"

I do some great mind writing when I'm lying in bed right before I fall asleep, unfortunately, because I don't get a lot of sleep as is, but it's very valuable- I always get un-blocked :o)

It's like a blizzard over here!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Teaching means I have zero time at work to think of writing stuff. But repetitive tasks are great for that- brushing teeth, driving, or washing dishes.

I've recently taken over shoveling our very long walkway at our new house. I like it because I get outside and my mind can wander while my daughter builds snowmen.

Tabitha Bird said...

Doing the dishes or weeding seems to work for me!
I LOVE that snow! Send some down here!

Thomas Taylor said...

I like bitter cold and snow. Walking in that can bring ideas to me, as long as my feet don't get wet.

No snowman?

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Often when I'm at work thoughts will spill forth. The shower and just before bed are good times. Lately I find I'm inspired as I read other good books.

Last winter I remember shoveling snow next to my elderly neighbor lady. She motivated me to keep at it. She seemed not at all bothered by the cold and kept a smile on her face...an inspiration.
~ Wendy

Matthew Delman said...

I find myself talking through my ideas on my drive to and from the office. It's mostly quiet except for the radio, and I have an hour each way where I won't be bothered or considered crazy for talking to myself. :)

Georgina said...

I love mundane, repetitive tasks for this very same reason! When it is quiet at work, I am the first one to jump in and say, "I'll stuff all those envelopes!" It's a good mental break for me. People think I am weird that way, but then again, the people who think that about me aren't particularly creative either. Hmmmm? - G

Linda Kage said...

I was picking up limbs in my yard one time and thought up an entire scene, which I entered into a contest and became a finalist!! So, I love those repetitive jobs that give you lots of thinking time too! I also like taking walks, which provides the same thinking time.

Renee Collins said...

We woke up to snow yesterday. Tons of it. I didn't mind though, maybe because Hubby did the shoveling. :)

I too come up with good ideas when performing mindless labor. My best time, for some reason, is when I'm in the shower. I've had more ideas pop up in there than anywhere else.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Driving. I told my mom I'm glad she lives an hour and a half away because every time I make the trip back or forth a lot of great scenes jump into my head. I have to use the "voice notes" feature on my phone so I don't wreck the car or forget them. :)
Stay warm up there!

Susan R. Mills said...

I write in my head all the time while I work. I get some of my best ideas then. We got snow too. I love the snow, but I hate the cold.

Abby Annis said...

Folding laundry, doing dishes, and driving are all great as long as I'm alone. Usually, the best time for me is in the bathtub. It's so quiet in there. :)

Voidwalker said...

I arrive at my night classes about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, so I have some time by myself in an empty classroom. I often put on my MP3 player and just sit alone thinking of various things I'd like to change or add to my story.

L. T. Host said...

Driving is a HUGE one for me.

Kelly Lyman said...

When I'm driving, which probably isn't safe! Wanted to let you know I gave you an award on my blog. Thanks for your posts!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I don't miss the half-hour bundling for a ten-minute snow romp!

Marybeth Poppins said...

In the shower or while I'm trying to fall asleep. You know...all those moments where it is impossible to write your words down!

Bethany Wiggins said...

Running and yoga. And hand-washing the dishes that don't fit in the dishwasher.

Heather Sunseri said...

Mowing is a great one. I also write a lot while in the shower. I've decided I'm going to invent a waterproof writing tablet and a pen that won't run. I like to write while spinning or working out as well.

Dawn Simon said...

You're awesome, shoveling snow! And don't tell my husband you mow the lawn--he might get ideas. ;)

Yes, I totally get plotting done when I do mindless tasks like folding towels, doing dishes, showering, and running.

Nice picture!

Jill Kemerer said...

I get great ideas when I'm shoveling. I just wish it wasn't so hard on the back!