Monday, October 21, 2013

Writerly Tip #3: Foil the Freeze

This is what came up when I googled images of brain freeze. This and a whole bunch of icee- and slurpee-related things, but well, this was just so much better. 

I get brain freeze sometimes when I'm trying to find the right word. Or phrase something exactly, or describe a thing. I'll be happily trundling along, my story unfolding before me as I wish it to, and BAM. 

I can no longer articulate.

I spend some time on the Thesaurus; it helps a little but still, not quite. Because you know what? My brain sometimes protests. 
"What, you want me to come up with the perfect word/phrase/feeling all the time, exactly when you want it? In spite of the fact that you have a million things on your mind all the time and you're almost always very, very tired? "
 Well, yes.

But, as I said, my brain doesn't always cooperate in spite of how reasonably I talk to it.

Here's what I do then: put the word/phrase/concept in (parentheses) or italics and come back to it later.
Because otherwise the flow, the groove is interrupted by the search for the word/phrase/concept and I almost never actually find it at that moment.

So here's my tip: Foil the brain freeze. Just move on, keep writing, and come back to it later. Don't let it derail you. This is not the time to check Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, shop Zulily,  and then get a snack and then, whatever. Keep writing. Finish the section you planned to finish.

Then take that break.
And then come back to it.

*Cue Angels Singing* 

In spite of its protestations, your brain actually will keep secretly ruminating,and when you come back to it, the word/phrase/concept is usually right there, like there was never a problem in the first place. Along with a few more ideas for how to make that section perfect.

And let's face it, you're going to be editing a million times more anyway, so the idea really is just to get it down on paper as a place to start, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment