Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Pinging Pinballs

pruzi via Pixabay
This week, I'm on vacation from my teaching job, and so I'm sinking my teeth into my writing job. I've made it a point not to overbook myself -- something that doesn't come easily to me -- so that I can focus on all of the things I never seem to have enough time for.

Yesterday, the only things on my agenda were lunch with my dad, a phone conversation with my publisher to discuss promotion ideas, and writing time. Seemed simple enough.

And it was -- until I hung up the phone, my brain overflowing with new ideas. It was as though someone had uncorked the brainstorming bottle and all the little pinballs inside were now pinging all over the room.

All. Day. Long.

I tried to corral them by sitting down and typing up notes from our phone call. That helped in that I felt as though I'd brought the first chapter of the day to a close so I could step away and have a nice lunch with my dad.

Turned out that was a good thing because, when I got home and sat down to pick up where I left off, the sense of pinging into walls at 90 MPH and bouncing off of them again resumed.

While exhausting, this isn't entirely a bad thing. It is, in fact, an exhilarating, if overwhelming, part of the creative process. One idea begets another and another and another and the only bad thing about the whole process is the time constraints that keep me from pursuing all of them.

And so it goes for those of us who fill our "down time" with creative pursuits. We set aside time, hoping that the brainstorming bottle full of pinballs will show up at the appointed hour and, some days, it does. Other days, we stare at blank computer screens, willing something resembling coherent thoughts to appear and take us out of our self-imposed misery.

It would be so lovely if we could find a middle ground -- a day where the time we've set aside is just enough for the number of pinballs in the bottle -- but that isn't how it usually works. Still, since the pinging pinballs are a necessary part of the creative life, I'm grateful for them, no matter how many there are and no matter how much they make my head spin.

And so I'll pull out my notebooks and my planner and try to commit as many of them to paper as I can, hoping my notes are specific enough that I'll remember what I meant when I pull them out again later and open the misbehaving bottle of pinballs.

Gadini via Pixabay

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