My husband tend to think I have multiple personalities. The monks at the monastery I attend call it monkey brain. I call the gift and curse of being a creative person. Right now I’m in the process of writing a manuscript. I know that characters, they are a live in my mind and they have all came forward to tell me their story (well most of them have). The main character is set on getting it out of my head and onto paper.
The issue is that another character has popped up. (Hence my husband’s instance the I have more then one personality running around my brain.) She doesn’t belong in this story and has one of her own. Most of the time she is patient with me and is waiting me to get the other story out of my system first and get onto hers. However every so often I can’t help but write a scene from story two, write a character profile, or jot down some dialog from story two.
The bigger problem is that story three has now entered my picture. I have the basic plot of the story and the location where it will be set, but the characters remain a mystery. There is a faint voice of one and from what I get she is a bit wild, angry, and has a spirit that is untamed. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when she starts taking form and speaking.
My mind is a jumbled, unforced mess. (That would be the monkey brian).
So how do you handle this?
Well, I’m not entirely sure, but this is what is helping me so far:
- I’ve taken to carrying several notebooks. When an idea enters my monkey brain I write it down. Mostly so I don’t forget it later, but mostly because if I don’t I will spend the rest of the day trying to remember it taking up the mental space I need to think about the other projects I’m working on.
- Go with it. When story one gets old I have two more to keep me excited plus this blog. Thinking about something else is a very nice mental vacation. It’s the only way to actually step away from something I’m working on, reset my brain, and come back with new eyes.
- Make a list. I’m driven by lists. If it isn’t on my list most likely it wont get down. Then again if it is on my list the chances of me doing it are only 50% but that is a much better static then 0. I make a list of goals for the day is usually what I need to write. It makes me focus.
So how do you stay focused when you are trying to get something done?