Popcorn

A paper notebook, flip phone, and keys

Good morning, universe.

My brain is overflowing with story after my morning walk. I dropped off my keys, slipped off my shoes, and made a beeline for my desk to scribble down the ideas exploding in my brain like popcorn kernels in a microwave.

[Redacted] is in peril, and it's taken me a while to work out what will happen next. Oh, I had ideas, but none of them excited me. I've been cleaning up chapters, adding more color and life, trying to be patient while my imagination did its thing.

Then, this morning... pop pop pop!

The Inner World

I've been thinking a great deal about this notion of a writer's inner life and how to cultivate it. In the past, I've written a bit about distraction, but I think what matters more is the opposite of distraction. What you do with your mind. Where it goes. Is it free to think its own thoughts?

If you feel you must have the news analyst blowhards on CNN while you exercise, or the stock market blowhards on MSNBC, or the sports blowhards on ESPN, it’s time for you to question how serious you really are about becoming a writer. You must be prepared to do some serious turning inward toward the life of the imagination, and that means, I’m afraid, that Geraldo, Keith Obermann, and Jay Leno must go.

Stephen King, On Writing

I hear ya. For me, switching to analog tools has been a big help. They make it easier to avoid my old bad habit – letting the 'news of the world' rush in every morning, filling my brain with stress and bullshit. Instead, I jot down my schedule and to-do list on an index card the night before. That index card fits inside my mini paper notebook, which I've secured with a rubber band that holds a small pencil.

With my flip phone, index card, and notebook, I'm prepared for the day.

When my mind is free, I can use it more creatively. The other day, I spent forty-five minutes in a waiting room, sitting quietly and thinking. Letting my mind go where it wanted, musing about the world, and books, and where this story might go next.

I've been waiting for that pop pop pop. And here it is!

Into the book I go.