“The Art of Thinking Around a Pillow”
Today’s Words of Wisdom:
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
~The Wizard of Oz
The Foda’s Take: This kind of feels like my life. You know, if the wizard was a woman. And the curtain was brain fog. Of course, Dorothy didn’t listen to that directive… and neither do I.
Ah, brain fog. Or, as I like to call it, the art of thinking around a pillow. It’s actually quite amazing what I’ve been able to accomplish through it over it years. Heck, I wrote more than seventy percent of my novel with it. (Which, may I just say, is coming along quite nicely. I somehow managed to add a little less than 20,000 words from the first draft- which was already 107,000 words- to the second. So, yeah. That happened.) But I digress.
I’ve been writing a lot lately, but all fiction, all fantasy, nothing about my life. I find that when the brain fog is really thick, sometimes the only way through is to completely absorb myself in other world, one that doesn’t begin and end with “I.” You smarty pants out there will say this smells an awful lot like the spicy tang of avoidance, but that’s okay. Because at least I’m still writing.
When I wake up and feel that familiar veil clouding my mental faculties, I think it’s a lot like that fumbling old wizard in the land of Oz, maneuvering smoke and mirrors to make other people think he’s something other than what he is. But you can still see right through them to the truth, if you try- and it’s the same with brain fog. It’s harder to access our thoughts, our memories, to search for the perfect word to describe something as poignantly as you desire, but at the heart of it all, it’s still you; you’re still at the center. So long as, like Dorothy, you’re willing to push past the curtain and see what’s there.
So today I will continue to work on the art of thinking around a pillow. Here’s three motivational tools I use for those of you working with this particular predicament.
- Set the timer for 15 minutes. I find that even if I start off thinking there’s no way I’ll accomplish anything worthwhile with my brain this way, by the time that buzzer goes off, I’m invested.
- Put down the project that’s giving you a mental block and start something else. Sometimes it’s not so much brain fog getting in your way as it is that you need to unclog some fresh creative energy to get the juices flowing.
- Call it thinking around it an art. After all, if nothing else, calling something an “art” automatically upgrades it to something worthwhile… meaning I can applaud myself for honing my craft even when the results are complete and utter bantha fodder.