When inspiration strikes

One of my more productive times for writing is when I’m walking to the bus stop in the morning. This is unfortunate because it’s hard to write while I’m walking. So I take that time to run over thoughts and phrases in my head as I walk, hoping that by the time I get to the stop and the bus comes and I pull out my resuscitated laptop, the nugget is still fresh and ripe for transcribing as it occurred moments earlier.

Taking advantage of these moments when they happen is important because I’m especially susceptible to distraction. Checking email, checking blogs, checking Google News, checking Boing Boing, even making dinner. All of these things satisfy my brain, but they also leave it cloudy, and destroy any self-generated thought not directly related to what I’m reading. I don’t usually lose thoughts, but I do forget some.

The internet vs. research paper

The way home is something I’m trying to change. Sometimes I return to what I was writing in the morning on the bus, but usually it’s not a time for original thought until I get off and begin my walk home. Luckily there’s a nice coffee shop at Polk and Bush which I see my self frequenting as a rest stop on the way. Beer as well as coffee shop fare, food (which I haven’t explored yet), comfortable, quiet, laptop-friendly atmosphere. Wireless that doesn’t seem to work, but ethernet cables if I need them.

Oh and people.

Sitting amongst strangers, comforted by their din, hearing and yet barely listening to their conversations. This might be my most mentally soothing environment. I really seem able to space out here without losing focus. This is something I already know and keep remembering.

3 Comments

Katie M.

Scholars wondered that they never found any rough drafts in Wallace Stevens’ papers, he apparently wrote his poems perfectly first time. There is nothing scholars like less than perfect poetry (like linguists needing bad spelling in the past to understand speech, they can’t tell what thought process the writer was following without seeing his mistakes).

However, it transpired that, before being A Great American Poet ™ he worked as a clerk in an insurance company, and it was walking to and from his work that he would compose his deathless verse. They know this because his neighbours remembered watching him walking along, suddenly stop, then carefully back up, before going ahead again looking thoughtful, wince, then retreat again, and finally walk on, satisfied, as he hammered the line out in the rhythm of his steps. I love the vision of this poet, fiercely concentrating, dancing back and forth on the pavement to get the line JUST so.

in between “the internet” and “research paper” lies the invisible monster of cloudy blog posts about what you were supposed to be writing about.

Time for a new gadget, heh? check name link!
I use to carry a mini voice recorder around with me for thoughts just like these! It was more amazing to listen to them when I finally got the chance! Especially when you forgot about something you said or thought just hours before!!?
of course, now I just forget things or just cannot remember or don’t want to so no need to carry around a recorder anymore! let the yungins do it!

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