Think About It


Ready for Autumn

This week I’ve been revising a manuscript. Each day I would set a goal for myself, and 5 days a week another friend and I send our daily goals to each other to keep ourselves honest. While I was writing my goals one day, I wrote a sentence that said something like this: One of my goals is thinking through how to put together a new scene.

Then I hit send.

But that sentence resonated with me. I realized I would take additional thinking time to ponder the significance of those words in relation to much more than that new scene. For example, when I taught writing classes, I stressed that the thinking time involved in putting together any type of writing took far more time than the actual writing. It didn’t matter if the assigned writing project was an essay, a letter, a honey-do list, or a research paper, thinking was involved throughout.

If a writer takes the time to think through his or her material before writing, the writing is more organized, more specific, more energetic. Words flow and make an impact. Thinking well keeps writers from facing writer’s block. My belief is that dreaded situation occurs when a writer hasn’t taken enough time to gather her/his thoughts and determine how to handle the material.

See, that was my problem this week. I was adding a new scene. While I’d thought about the scene and where it needed to go, I hadn’t taken enough time to think through the hidden elements at work, such as which character’s POV should the scene be in for greatest effect for the story and my overall theme in this manuscript. Once I accomplished that extra thinking, the words flowed and the scene wrote itself—well with a bit of help from my fingers. 🙂

And that’s another point about thinking when writing. It’s never done. A writer thinks before writing, during writing, after writing during revisions and editing. Like breathing is necessary for life, thinking is necessary to write. Don’t ever forget that. If we do, then our writing stagnates. Or worse—we don’t write anymore.

Those were the thoughts I had about a simple sentence in an email I sent about my day’s goals. But I realized this sentence really reflected a truth we should remember as we go through our lives as functioning humans.  Because as I often do, I relate a writing truth to a life truth. What is that truth you ask?

Thinking with purpose helps us live better, more successful lives.  You’ve all heard someone say, or maybe you’ve said it, “What was she/he/they thinking?” After a few shakes of our heads, we realize whoever we’re discussing wasn’t thinking! That was the problem.

I’ll mention a few examples.  We see someone we know successfully accomplish some goal. How did it happen?  Sure, maybe some luck came into play, but if the person hasn’t thought about how to achieve it, set in place some steps to achieve it, thought about the time involved and figured how to use it, well the outcome likely would have been different.

Or another example:  We all face problems and situations in our lives which are stressful or difficult. Thinking about what comprises the problem or situation, why it stresses us, helps us to think about how we can cope better with the situation.

Sometimes free thinking (time we just let our minds roam) provides us with wonderful insights than can help us be more successful or happier in our daily lives.

A Thinking Place

What I’m saying here is this.  Taking time to think is never wasted time. The more we do it, the better we run our lives and feel more comfortable in meeting our challenges—because we’ve thought them through. When we stop thinking, we stop living in a real sense or find ourselves in situations that are really difficult.

Even better, thinking can be done while multi-tasking at other mindless chores or even while you sleep.  A technique I often use is to think over my problem just before I go to sleep. Sometimes I’ll wait a few hours later with the solution; if not come morning when I wake, I have my answers.

 

I leave you with these points. Think about them. Let me know what your thoughts are.  And Keep Thinking…It’s Good For You! 🙂

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Explore posts in the same categories: Life Skills, Light bulb moments, Writing

2 Comments on “Think About It”

  1. Edie Ramer Says:

    I usually know where I’m going with a scene, but sometimes I don’t know until I start writing a scene. And sometimes as I write, my character’s goals change.

    I’m always open to a better way in my book. I like surprises. I try to be open in life, too, but probably don’t always make it.

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Edie,

    Don’t you love it when a new scene just flows.:-) Keeping our minds open allows such creativity.


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