Getting My Dream Ducks in Order

As good as I am at multi-tasking, my natural, happy mind-state is to think and act in a linear path. One thing at a time, put it down, pick up the next, work on that, repeat. And for many years that has worked for my writing. Until recently, I was never popping with story ideas–I could pretty much put all my focus onto wherever I was in whatever novel I was struggling with at the time.

Then picture books came along to say, “Hi!” Storystorm is a huge part of my idea generation, but also–these days–some muse (maybe the Muse of Overwhelmedness) sends ideas to me on a regular basis. And you know what?

I CAN’T WRITE THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Add to this that I am moving toward querying agents. And while I would like to just dive in head-first, some very wise people recently reminded me of the important steps involved in a smart agent search. And..guess what?

I CAN’T DO ALL THE STEPS AT THE SAME TIME!

And once more piece–now my looking-forward is a mix of dreams, goals, and actions. That’s about as non-linear as you can get. Some people could work it into a flow chart and feel comfortable dropping onto any arrow. But not me.

I CAN’T FOCUS ON MULTIPLE BIG-PICTURE VISIONS AND TINY DETAILED TASKS AT THE SAME TIME!

It was a busy week at the day-job, and I had to push the ALL down to the bottom of my brain for a few days. (No, of course it didn’t stay there, which is why I ended the week feeling like I had gone ten rounds with…Yes. The Muse of Overwhelmedness.)

So…I went to bed early last night, and I slept in this morning. I let my mind gently roam its way to a couple of Storystorm ideas, and I had breakfast and caffeine. And then I played with dream-scaping.

Dreamscape 2

Typically, these brainstorming-circle tools don’t work for me. The fact that this one has, at least in having filled up a page with bright colors and actual text, is–I guess–reassuring. In an oh-good-I-am-finally-deep-enough-into-this-writing-thing-to-have-my-head-explode way.

How I turn this dreamscape into process(es), I’m not sure. In my past, free-to-be-linear life, my lists were a straight line of numbered tasks, and I got to happily cross off each one as I finished it. This new world is filled with tasks that connect to each other backward and forward, get to be repeated time after time, and play a role in various and sundry scenarios. It’s as if a nice, simple If…Then statement met up with Wile E. Coyote.

But I think this is my new normal, and it’s a normal I have been aiming toward for years. So I’m celebrating by being grateful and breathing deeply. And I’m keeping the nice paper and pretty pens near at hand.

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