Never Not Writing

Often when I go to bed I talk to my brain.

I say, “Hi Brain! I’m going to sleep now, but I have a few things I’d like you to sort of for me while I’m under. Could you please figure out how I’m going to make that snippet about visibility fit into Chapter One? Also, I need to work out how I’m going to navigate that prickly emotional situation that came up this afternoon. Thank you!”

Then I go to sleep, and generally stay that way until Brain pokes me awake to say, “Hi! Here are those things you asked for. Enjoy!”

And with that, I have no choice but to get out of bed and write it all down, because Brain has no patience with me when I forget what it’s spent the last 8 hours working on.

Brain is also on the case when I’m walking, cooking, playing with Obi. It’s always fiddling away with whatever I’m working on, constantly jiggling bits of information around to see how they look in different configurations.

I can feel something like a soup simmering away in the back of my head, quietly burbling along, with the occasional spurt of clarity breaking the surface. 

The reason I rely so much on my subconscious mind like this is that I’m often unable to figure out the solution when I think about it directly.

My forebrain is too busy, too bombarded with stimulus, too highly strung to allow a creative or elegant solution to float up to the surface.

I’m always hanging on too tight in there, trying too hard to force an answer.

The forebrain is also where our loudest critic lives, that voice that howls down our big ideas, and splashes poison and distraction into the well.

Some days it’s better to stay away from the forebrain altogether, and to trust that your subconscious will have done the work for you when you get back.

It doesn’t mean you’re slacking or avoiding things, just working a different way.

What could you ask your Brain to work on for you while you’re doing other things today?