Are you thinking? / an article


As a writer I have never experienced the empty white-page syndrome, otherwise known as ‘writer’s block’.

I may wrangle with a story now and then. I imagine it to be like sheep wrangling. They are sturdy creatures but if you hit them hard you bounce off (due to the abundance of wool) and no, you can’t win with a sheep – they are tough!

But equally I don’t tie myself into twisted knots trying to sort out a mess in a story (or poem). I leave it. I go away. I do something else.

I may go for a walk and usually the story will come back to me, bleating like a lamb, suddenly neatly clipped and tidy.

On the days when I cannot get into writing (screen/paper) then I allow all of my ideas to permeate, or percolate. Give them some space to move around and let the characters engage un-chaperoned or wander off into the wrong scene.

I do sometimes shout at them: get back here! They tend to ignore me.

In fact a great deal of my writing is actually thinking time.

I like to work ideas through my head, test them out, even writing lines in my head which I know I may lose. I don’t mind if they get free and float off; maybe someone else will find a home for them?

There are many references to Great Thinkers (you can study them and even get a degree) but we are all Great Thinkers.

As humans we have unique abilities to simply sit and think. Ponder the world around us or conjure abstract thoughts; we can time-travel by going over past or future issues. Work out what to wear at the summer wedding or where to go on holiday – these are amazing feats of thinking.

So don’t THINK you are not a philosopher [double negative alert!] – now go on, sit and just think….



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