Musings and mind leaks... Typewriter

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Category: Mind Leaks

  1. Mind Leak 3: What's the big idea?

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    ...or even the small idea? Where do they come from? Where do they live? Are ideas born inside our minds/bodies or do they come from outside of ourselves? If they come from outside, how do we invite them in? I once had the opportunity to ask some questions of one of Britain's top neurologists. I asked her where ideas come from. She told me that she'd spent her whole life studying the brain and still could not answer that question. She could show me how an idea might affect or stimulate different parts of the brain (depending on the kind of idea it was!) but she couldn't say where it might come from. The only thing she was sure about was that we only understand the brain by about one tenth, and that's what kept her passionate about researching it. So, the next time you have a big idea, and before you delve into what it is, why not try and figure out where it came from? Is it yours? Is it someone else's? Or is it totally original? Or is it different every time? And the next time you have an original idea and you do figure out where it came from, please let me know because I would like to attract a few more of them!


  2. Writer's Block - A visceral analogy

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    WRITER'S BLOCK is something that people often ask about. At two recent literature festivals I heard at least 4 authors have the question of writer's block and how to cure it asked of them. They all gave different answers, all valid. Here's mine: A very wise person once told me this, and I think it's the best advice on the subject. (I will now paraphrase wildly...) Writer's block is not when you have nothing to write about; it's when you have too much to write about - too many ideas, concepts, revelations, whatever. What then happens is that you get so full up that your mind becomes constipated - yes, that's right! Just like eating too much cake, and I speak from personal experience of cake. So, what do you do when you become constipated? You need a purge! It's like clearing out a blocked wastepipe. First you've got to get out the solid lumps that are causing the blockage, then you flush the remainder through and suddenly you have a clean channel for fresh...umm, processes! And how do you this with writing? I've found the best the thing to do when you feel blocked is to sit down and just write...anything at all will do. Write a stream of consciousness, a shopping list, a letter to somebody, absolutely anything to free up the stuff in the pipes and get it moving. It doesn't matter if it's a load of crap (did you see what I did there?) because you can chuck the first load of stuff in the bin...or down the toilet if you prefer! If you still feel blocked, write some more. Absolutely anything. After a short while your channels (and your mind) will start to feel clearer, and perhaps a little fresher. When they do, get out a clean sheet of paper/open a new document in your computer and off you go. You'll then be in a much better position to catch the new stuff that's trying to come through you. Have a go. I've done this lots of times and it works. So, don't fret if you have writer's block. It's a good sign. Much better than feeling completely empty, isn't it? 

  3. Mind Leak 1

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    A few years ago I was asked by a friend to give some advice to a young person about 'patience.' (I still have no idea why I was asked as it's not really my strong point!). This is what I wrote to them: 
    "Sometimes you have to wait for something you want, which calls for patience because not everything can be ready just because you want it to be.  If you find this difficult, try doing something you love while you wait then, when it’s ready, the thing you are waiting for will find you happy instead of grumpy, which is always better."
    Today, as I wait with twitchy fingers while my debut novel is typeset, cover prepared, marketing planned, I remembered this and thought to myself: "Take your own flippin' advice, girl!" So, I think I'll go and read a book while eating cake.