Writing is a constant activity. It has legs that never cease and a heart that always pumps.
Writers know that writers are always writing.
When we say “we are writing”, it is the penning of words we refer to. But the penning of words is only the visible act, the players on the field.
Thinking about our writing is the behind scenes action we must nurture. Long before the first or final words are written, our minds have spent countless hours steeped in the story or article or poem or song we are constructing.
Thinking about and pondering our writing is essential to and, I believe, the most undervalued element of the writing process.
The writing process begins and is sustained by our thinking about what we are writing. Our brain must play with ideas. It must cradle some and murder others. When we sleep it whips things together and presents its constructs when we wake. Writing is not given to a stop and start existence.
As a writer, I must actively think about my writing. I do this during my commute, on hikes, bike rides, in the shower, and on and on.
This is how I visualize my process.
There is a little man in my head. He is overweight, bald, wears tattered overalls, and new shoes. He smokes a fat cigar on most occasions. He is not embarrassed by his underarm sweat rings or heavy body odor. His disposition teeters on angry, but I would say he is closer to cranky. Despite this, he works hard and is dependable.
It is he who runs to and fro around my mind, looking under and behind things, turning up memories and moments that make their way into my writing.
My best ideas have come from him.
He is so dependable that I can give him a task, go off on a long hike, and upon my return, he presents me with ideas a plenty.
It may sound silly, but all of us have a little man and he is waiting to help.
Our brain is an amazing machine. It works for us.
Next time you need ideas or perhaps solutions, task your brain (little man) with it and watch the magic.