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?