Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Look, a Shiny!

Today, while our system at work decided to go tits up for a few hours, I rolled around the writers forums skimming for something that might catch my interest. I gravitated towards the research part of the site because sometimes the weirdest stuff comes up in conversation and the answers tend to inspire me. What did I come across today?

Racing thoughts & bipolar disorder

It sucked me in. My mom is bipolar and the first thought I had on reading the title was "I wonder if this happens to my mom?" I read the initial question (what is it like for people that experience it?) and then read the responses, and then...

The more I read it, the more I thought, huh. That happens to me all the time. I thought it was just me having a lot of mental ADD. It didn't occur to me that it might not be normal. It certainly isn't an unpleasant experience for me, not like it's described in those few responses in the thread. I don't go into the negative beating myself up and saying "you suck you suck you suck" over and over in my head. It's more like... well, here, let me see if I can come up with an example.

Back to the original reason I'm blogging: the system at work is down. At that point my first thought was to check email. I got to my email, saw that one of my brainstorming buddies was online but away, and it occurred to me that I could use this time to write. I then jumped to thoughts of using writing programs such as Scrivener, which then made me think of when I was messing with the Beta version of Scrivener on my husband's computer, which then made me remember that there was a bunch of crap I needed him to get done today, so I went back to my email to message him about it. I then went back to the writer's forums, which looped me back in thought to planning my novel, so while I was reading the forums I was also in the back of my head thinking about how I could go about getting back into the mind set of writing as my werewolf Kate (who has been renamed Mallory, but that's another blog topic), and I began to wonder if I should just start retyping the story to get into that frame of mind. (It's first person and I've been out of it a while... I'd need to get back in Kate/Mallory frame of mind.) Then, I remembered when I was writing my NaNo this year that I used a lot of mental ADD in that character to get me through my word count, which then looped me back to the bipolar thread on the writer's forums and I thought, wow, I need to blog about that.

This all happened in a matter of about ten minutes.

Then I went back and checked (because I keep checking) to see if the system was up, and lo, it is still down for the count. At which point my brain then went back to thinking of ways I could revise my story, and I tabbed back over to this blog window to continue blogging.

I don't think you even want to know how long it takes me to actually blog, because the mental zig zagging that has happened during the course of even this one post would probably make you dizzy. And I consider it normal. It happens to me every day.

This statement in particular I found hilariously accurate:

Just a bit to add is that one thought leads to another leads to another and so on. Until the person forgets where they started. Sometimes, the person would have to back track to get to the first thought that started the whole mess.

This happens to me all the time. Occasionally I even have to back track multiple times because I run off on another tangent while I'm back-tracking.

It's why (here comes another zig) that I loved my previous job, and why I am starting to like my current job. I like these jobs that keep me so busy I can hardly think, precisely because they keep me so busy that I can hardly think. It blocks out my ADD. I simply don't have time to get lost in thought all day (and believe me, if I had the time, I would literally be lost in thought all day long). Did this make me a total space cadet growing up? Yes, yes it did. I strongly suspect the reason I became a writer was to organize and record all of my many weird and interesting thoughts. Sometimes it's exhausting having a brain that never quits.

Does this happen to anyone else? Does your brain just go and go and go like some demented Energizer Bunny on crack? I'd be interested to know how many of us writers experience this kind of thing.

Distractedly yours,


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