Burning Dinner & Breaking Laws [When Inspiration Strikes]
I was driving down one of the main streets in my town, my head wrapped up in storyland as I fleshed out one of my characters. High on the sunshine pouring through my open window and the major plot point that had just clicked into place, I cruised right on past the line of cars on my left. It wasn't until I was about ten feet through the intersection it dawned on me that those cars had been stopped....and the light red. (And people say being a writer isn't dangerous!) I've found that inspiration tends to strike at the most inconvenient times. Case in point...
1. While Driving
As evidenced above, I've found that inspiration hits more often than not when I'm driving. Something about the silence and highway stretching out endlessly before me just lends itself to creating. However, since the red-light incident I try to rein it in. Long road trips when Jon is driving are my favorite times to wander the paths of my imagination. When I'm staring off into space while in the car he'll usually ask if I'm thinking about my story....and he's usually right :)
2. Cooking Dinner
There I am, mindlessly stirring dinner on the stove when my thoughts wander to the corner of my mind marked "Storyland". The scene that was giving me grief earlier suddenly snaps into focus and I have to drop my spoon, rush to the computer and type it all down before it drifts out of reach...usually while the pasta boils over and the garlic bread burns. Thankfully, there's only been one instance of dinner being completely unsalvageable. We ended up going out for Mexican so I'll count it as a win-win ;)
3. At Church
(Am I even allowed to say that!?) Those times at church when my brow is furrowed and I'm staring intently at the pastor...yeah, that's usually because he's said something that's spoken straight to my heart--an idea or nugget of truth that stops me cold and I think this is IT. This is exactly what my character needs to come to grips with in their relationship with God, and I'm trying to figure out how to weave it into the story. Before you judge me, I have it on good authority that several of my favorite authors do the same ;)
4. Doing Yardwork
On writing days when the weather permits, I'll often take a break to go dig around in my flower beds- pulling weeds, dead-heading spent blooms, raking leaves. The fresh air and movement gets my blood pumping and the monotony allows my mind to wander. It's also one of my favorite times to talk with the Lord and wrestle through whatever is on my heart.
5. Middle of the Night
In that blissful period between sleep and consciousness I'll often have full sentences or whole scenes come together in my mind. If I'm coherent enough I'll type them into the notes section of my phone. Sometimes, what I wrote makes absolutely no sense, and other times I'm amazed that such writing could come from my muddled midnight brain.
So, there you have it. Inspiration doesn't always come at the most convenient times, but it definitely makes this writing life interesting!