Friday, March 16, 2007

Shari's working ... really!

Last month I told you about our remodeling project. What I didn't tell you is that in the midst of it I was also finishing a book and trying to get ready to take a much-looked-forward to cruise vacation.

I managed to finish the book, tossed some clothes into the suitcases, and handed the contractor a key to the house. Floating around the Caribbean was wonderful, but all good things seem to come to an end too quickly! The clothes are clean and put away, I have my land legs back, the remodeling project is done, so now it's time to get back to work.

But on what? I'm now in that scary/sublime time in a writer's life where I have to decide what book to write next.

Scary? Well, yes, in a way. Just because an editor has liked my story ideas in the past doesn't mean the same editor will like the next one. So the pressure is on to come up with a Great Idea. Which, oddly enough, is the sublime part. This is the time to allow the mind to wander and give the imagination free rein.

What I should be doing is sitting in the recliner with a pad of paper on my lap and pencil in hand, poised to write down all the Great Ideas that come to mind. Instead, I'm cleaning. All that grit and dust from the remodeling must be dealt with. So the pad of paper is sitting on the kitchen counter, and while I was vacuuming the grit off the top of the bathroom cupboards, I think I figured out who my next hero will be!

The lovely thing about the subconscious is that it works while we're doing something else. Ever have a problem and decide to 'sleep on it' to solve it? I have a friend who swears that answers to her dilemmas are best solved while taking a shower. Long walks are fantastic 'mull it over' times, too.

What method do you use? All comments are appreciated because I've got a lot of thinking to do and can use all the advice I can get!

Shari Anton


Judy T said...

Sleeping on it is great, but you have to give your mind something to work with. Walks and bike rides are great, but I don't have easy access to paper and pencil (it's awkward). I've discovered running away from home is helpful. I take my idea book and a pen and go some place else. The local university has some beautiful fountains I like to sit next to and simply let my mind wander. If I set a time limit, like an hour, I don't feel like I have to sit there forever or until I get an idea. However, I've never failed to have an idea within my hour time limit. In fact, I frequently end up writing for longer. Good luck!

Shari Anton said...

I solved the pen/paper problem while taking a walk. I use a digital voice recorder. I can download the .wav file into the computer. Dragon Naturally Speaking can read the file and turn it into a text copy. The wonders of technology :).

Judy T said...

Wow! What a cool idea! Thanks, Shari!