“For the next 10 minutes, I want you to simply sit and think,” said our writing coach. “And most importantly – don’t write anything down. Let the ideas flow freely. Just think.”
Argh! For a group of women writers aged 50 and better, eager to implement the writing tips proferred by Peggy Payne, author of the novel Sister India, it was a tough assignment. Especially so for me.
I like to capture my ideas as they emerge; after all, what if they leave my ADD brain never to return? It’s happened more times than I can remember (OK, that was a really bad joke). But I complied with her request. I had paid for the writing workshop. Might as well get my money’s worth.
At first my brain refused to cooperate. It zipped around the room, stealing glances at everyone else. Then I closed my eyes and dredged up the plotline of the story I was writing. How would it end? Who was the main character anyway? What kind of life did she lead? Where would she have gone on vacation?
Little by little, a new scene was built in my head. I was actually focusing on the story without a computer or a pen and paper or even my iPhone at my fingertips. Ten minutes is a long time when you are “thinking.”
Peggy finally rang the timer and we regrouped. But I realized that I had found a new weapon in my ADD arsenal: taking time to THINK. About only one thing. One thing. How profoundly simple. Yet profoundly powerful.
Do I take my 10 minutes regularly? No. Do I want to do more of it? Yes. So today I pledge to THINK at least once a day. About whatever is at hand. But without computer, paper, tape recorder – anything.
And I will trust myself to remember whatever I need to thereafter.