Lost in Place

My wife has grown used to this by now. Every once in a while I get so involved in a project that I disappear into myself. While driving, my mind is plotting out scenes. While making dinner, I’m pricing together dialogue. And every free second, I’m delving into books or the Internet for research.

Do all writers do this? Does you need the poetic bent or does it happen to non-fiction scribblers too? It’s a bit like. Fugue state, except instead of forgetting my life and leaving home, I travel inward, totally enveloped by the story world.

Typically I emerge from this story coma with fresh insights. If I have a chance to write, I can easily wrack up thousands of words a day. (It helps if I have a deadline looming.)

Sometimes I’ll plan for this. For example, if I have difficult section to work out in a chapter, I’ll review it and then take a shower or go for a drive. These menial tasks let my mind wander. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve scribbled frantically while still wet from the shower. The worst part is that I don’t have my glasses as they steam up.

I also inhabit parking lots, scratching words onto whatever paper I can find: receipts, envelopes, those flyers they leave under windshields. Sometimes I have to set a timer or I’ll spend the next hour just writing in a parking space.

Tell me if you have any similar situations. Do you ever get lost in one place, your mind dropping off the planet?

Tim Kane

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6 comments on “Lost in Place

  1. Julie says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve been told I even have a specific look for when my brain drops out of whatever I was doing and into writer mode. It must be funny looking, because I’ve come back from it to find my friends are laughing their heads off as I frantically type into my iPod touch or iPad (or a notebook I keep at all times as back up).

    I can even relate to the trying to write legibly with no glasses, but that’s usually due to the ideas that wake me in the middle of the night, where I want to write them down but I don’t want to put my glasses on for fear of waking up all the way.

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who does crazy stuff like that.

    • Yeah, I get the desire not to wake up all the way. I’ve even scribbled in the dark. The worst is when I feel I need to write while driving. Jotting down notes on a pad while steering is not advised. Thank god my phone now has a record function.

  2. […] Ali Luke offers 25 ways to come up with great ideas for your writing. While you’re busy thinking about your book, Tim Kane asks if you ever get lost in your own head? […]

  3. R.S. Hunter says:

    The shower is where I have a lot of my ideas, especially early in the morning as I’m still waking up. Another place I tend to come up with stuff is right before I’m falling asleep. There have been multiple times where I’ve had to jump out of bed and write stuff down because I know I’ll forget it in the morning.

  4. […] Ali Luke offers 25 ways to come up with great ideas for your writing. While you’re busy thinking about your book, Tim Kane asks if you ever get lost in your own head? […]

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