Burning up the Keyboard

Often times when I start a new project, book, short story….(blog post!)….I find the beginning the hardest part. I’ll stare at the darn blank page, the blinking cursor and my brain which just moments ago was crackling with ideas suddenly flat-lines.

“Hello? Brain? What’s going on up there?”
“Wow. You amaze me with your witty repartee.”
“What now?”
“Do you need some caffeine?”
“Oh, that would be lovely.”
“Amazing. That was a complete sentence.”
“It was? How did that happen?”
“Who knows…”
Who knows indeed. Who knows where ideas come from? It seems more often than not the ideas come when I’m least looking for them.
Like in the shower.
I don’t know if it’s because the hot water is gently massaging my scalp and my brain suddenly gets all comfy and decides, “Oh, what the hell, I’ll let the ideas loose so they can run around and stretch their legs…” but whenever I get stuck on writing, a good solution for me is to take a shower.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a water-proof laptop.
(Note to computer makers: Create a water-proof laptop and I’d bet it would be a big hit….at least with the creative types who like to be clean).
Other times when I’m stuck creatively, I quit looking at the blank screen, I quit staring at the blinking cursor and I close my eyes. I put my fingers on the keyboard (making sure my fingers are in the correct location–rather important unless you can read gibberish) and I start typing whatever comes to mind as quickly as I can. Usually a bit of gunk comes flying out at first, (think: the stuff you pull out of a plugged-up drain) but after a while, the words, like the water, starts to flow. Blood starts pumping through my fingers, they loosen up, and soon enough I’m burning up my keyboard. I’m in the zone. Ideas are fighting and clawing and scratching their way out of my brain…It can get a bit messy…

I wrote the first draft of the fantasy novel I’m currently working on in that fashion. Fast!
Now, of course, I have to slow down a bit while I’m editing (plus, I have to give my keyboard a chance to cool off), but at least I have something I can work with–the story isn’t lodged inside my head anymore.
….And that’s another blog post for another day, because I need to get back to editing.
Good luck to each of you on your own endeavors and have a great day!


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About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

4 responses to “Burning up the Keyboard”

  1. Robin Lythgoe says :

    I like the shower for clearing away the fog, too. Doing menial housework also helps me. I often think that I need to be able to bluetooth from my brain to the computer. Wouldn’t that be handy? 😀

  2. inkcompetentwriter says :

    Menial housework is pretty good for getting the writing juices going, too. The threat of having to do more menial housework if I don’t start writing is a good incentive as well. A bluetooth connection between the brain and the computer would definitely come in handy. I drive a lot, especially at night, and it would be awesome if I was able to get all those great ideas that pop up at 2am onto my computer….

    I’m guessing that actually isn’t so far-fetched an idea.

    Thanks again for your comment, Robin. 🙂 Have a great day.

  3. Neeks says :

    The idea machine seems to work best for me in that moment before I’m dropping off to sleep at night…
    or at 3:30am on the way to work in the dark. Frustrating, but I never thought about showering the
    ideas out…will have to try that.

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      Do you keep a notebook and pen next to your bed? When those last minute ideas pop up as I’m trying to get to sleep, I quickly jot them down because otherwise I know a) I’ll forget them by morning or b) I won’t be able to sleep because I’m mulling over the new ideas. I know some people think if you can’t remember an idea by morning it probably wasn’t any good, but I’d rather still write it down and give myself the opportunity to discard a bad idea rather than worry about possibly losing a good one.

      Thanks for your comment, Neeks. Have a great day.

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