About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

When do you really get time to think? If you’re anything like me, being at home means being surrounded by numerous ‘things to do’, many of which get overlooked in favour of a sit down and a cup of tea. Thinking is plain dangerous, as it is likely to remind me of all the items on the list. As you might already know , I’ve been trying to overcome this by tackling several tasks on a daily basis. But I still find it hard to do any strategic thinking at home.

I’ve doing some planning lately, and have found it has worked better to tackle it during my lunch hour than it does to work on it at home. But this is not really very much time for serious thinking.

So I was surprised to find myself with clear time to think this week – on a long car journey to my Dad’s. I had written a story for the Friday Fictioneers before I left, based on a continuation to a previous story. And I found by the time my journey ended I had expanded the plot to what I feel is a good structure for a novel. I captured the ideas on paper as soon as possible in the form of a mind map, and felt quite delighted.

The question now is, do I need to carve out more thinking time – or is it more about place than time? I remember doing all the planning for my first book sitting in our conservatory with a view over Lyme Bay – but we’ve moved from that house now. I wondered what other people find – where and when do you do your best thinking?


Comments on: "Thought for the week – Time to Think" (6)

  1. Hi Anne – nice “thought-provoking”post. For me it’s when I’m doing the ironing, or cooking the tea! I get into a bit of a meditative trance and just allow my thoughts to wander. If I’m lucky and get a really good idea I then follow up in my journal and see where it takes me.

    • Hi Juliet, I am mildly alarmed that my thoughts seem to wander whilst driving, but have reassured myself that I am just multitasking! Capturing the ideas on paper once I had stopped was definitely vital, thankfully my sister rustled up a notebook just when I needed one.

  2. Dear Anne,

    I am fortunate to have a job that allows me many hours each night to think. The challenge I have is separating the wheat from the chaff and baking a good loaf of bread. Still working on that and wish you luck with yours.



    • Hi Doug, I can see that too much time to think would be an altogether different problem. Do you have a writing project you make progress on each night?

  3. Anne hi – this is definitely worth thinking about. Like you I often find ideas come to me when I am travelling. But I have never used the time properly and it is always wandered. Is there a trick to framing the thinking to take place during that time?

    • Hi Laura, on this occasion the story was already in my head because of scheduling the blog post before I went away. For more strategic thinking, the planning process I’m following from the book Wishcraft seems very helpful. It’s not necessarily that every plan comes to fruition, more that the process of planning helps you look at the bigger picture and come up with creative solutions to your problems and issues (oh, those Wicked Issues). I’m planning to do a more in-depth review of the book once I’m happy with my current round of planning.

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