My family is religious and I help out every day at pooja. It is a favorite time, not for obvious reasons – but because it gives me time to daydream!
I do a lot of my “storystorming” there… while my hands are busy doing the routine stuff it is now used to do everyday, my mind is alert and churning out story ideas. Most of March’s chapter book plot was created while I put flowers on idols.
Fitting, I guess… for a writer, craft is her God and her commitment to create every singe day, is her pooja.
This is an art most writers have mastered. Writing time is fleeting and precious enough that if you also add plot planning or churning to that, you will takes years to finish your book.
So we end up plot-planning in all odd places… the waiting areas in clinics, the endless queues in malls or offices, all those times where you are physically tied and resting but mentally you are alert and can’t bear to go to sleep… these are the times a writer naturally does her storystorming and what if? scenes and holds monologues with her muse. But of course, you cannot practice this in certain situations like:
1. Driving – This is the No. 1 reason I don’t drive, in spite of knowing how to. My Dad offered to buy me a car a decade ago and I refused him, and I still refuse everyone’s advice that I get a car. I don’t want to end up hurting myself, my car or, horrors, some poor person on the street.
It’s one thing to be a slob and a Liberal (more on these soon!). It’s another to be an irresponsible driver. I’d rather spread my energy and time in doing something else.
Plus I am a capitalist. Why drive when you have readymade drivers (a.k.a taxis and public transport) out there?
And I am also selfish. Driving eats up time, and pretty soon it will end up eating my writing time, so I have refused to drive for a long time (my husband says I will, one day, when there is necessity. Well, till then, I will enjoy my driving-free life!)
2. Family Time – I am ashamed to admit that I do think of stories, even when I am spending time with my family. I am such an idea-monger that my mind constantly scourges for ideas and seeds from daily life. I get most of my ideas from real life, so no wonder my muse is trained to locate good ideas from each and every frame of a typical day. But I am trying not to do this! Because it is easy to miss life if you get sucked up in any one good thing.
3. Writing – Ah, yes. I used to do this a lot and only now I have trained my muse NEVER to woolgather or brainstorm while writing. There is a time to create and a time to write.
When you allocate time to write, just do that… books are written by writers, not dreamers 🙂