Monday, March 24, 2008

Patterns of behavior

You know how you can teach your body things through repetition? Well I've taught my brain to think in bed.

I can write where and whenever I need to if I have a deadline, but I prefer to write in the weekends or during vacation when I don't have anything else to worry about.

Usually on Saturdays or vacation days I wake up and grab my laptop on its little lapdesk and sit up in bed. I start checking websites until I get in the mood to write. Then I start writing while I'm in bed.

At night while I'm trying to fall asleep I think about my latest story. I usually solve all sove my major problems while I'm lying in bed.

The combination of sleeping to the thought of screenplays and lying in bed all day working on them has made my brain associate the bed with writing time. I'm on vacation right now so each day I get up around 11 and read blogs and email and other stuff, then start writing. Today I ended up working a lot so I was still in my pajamas in bed at 3 in the afternoon.

In my defense I go to sleep at about 3 am most nights.

This is how I've conditioned my brain. As soon as I hit the pillow or wake up my brain concentrates on nothing but story, so it's the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night.

I've been writing all my blog entries on the couch in an effort to steer my creative brain to a new location, except I guess writing on the couch isn't that different beyond the psychological issue of my being a lazy slob who sits in her bed in pajamas all afternoon. I live alone for now so that's not a problem but one day I hope to have relationships with live actual people who may not find my lie-in-bed-all-day policy appealing.

But I think the most significant thing about this is that you can train your brain to think creatively if you set patterns for yourself. So I guess if you're having trouble getting inspired, choose a location where you so nothing but think about story. It works for me, maybe a little too well.


  1. Anonymous3:41 PM

    I've got the pre-sleep, bathroom and cigarette daydream/brainstorming down pretty well. It's being able to find that focus in a meeting atmosphere that I'd like to learn (and, more so than that, I'd love to have a reason to need to learn it).

    I guess it all comes down to loving something enough to occupy those times of focus on something productive rather than what you would do if ninjas attacked you in the line at the supermarket, too.

  2. Anonymous3:43 PM

    Dude ...

    A pithy take on creativity from an Australian fantasy author:




Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.