Creative brain freeze

So, today was my first day back at work. It’s interesting how getting back to normality seems to have sparked something in my brain… over the Christmas holidays, I found that a gem of an idea floated into my head, but now it’s sort of crystallising. I find it really hard to discipline my brain, as it scatters over lots of different ideas, which is not great when I’m trying to focus!

It’s really hard to explain how my brain works when I’m trying to write something. Whatever it is, my brain decides to go off on all sorts of tangents. I think this explains my love of researching a topic to absolute death- even as a kid I enjoyed getting every book I could find on a subject and reading it from cover to cover. Dinosaurs, dogs, pandas, Marilyn Monroe,  Ireland- all these things have been subject to my voracious appetite for knowing stuff. I might have no common sense, but I can tell you all about Lewis Carroll or answer a pub quiz question about dinosaurs. My brain just… retains stuff. (It might not surprise you to know that I’m hoarder of things as well as facts. All I can say is thank goodness stuff like Kindles and external hard drives were invented. I don’t think I’d be able to move in the house otherwise.)

So yeah, I’ve started the research on this potentially fascinating thing, but can I write any words down? Can I heck. I tried yesterday and managed a bit, before the evil voice inside started whispering to me how rubbish my idea was and that my sentence structure was all over the place. I even read the Guardian’s guide to unleashing creativity today to no avail. It just won’t come.

I think problem is that I haven’t pinned down the main character. It’s like she’s there, but faceless, like some horrific Doctor Who villain (there was a faceless one, right? Where the features of a person disappeared? Or am I dreaming?) I know all sorts about her, but I don’t have her name. I know how her story sort of pans out, but I can’t go any further until I have a face and a name. Until I can christen her, I’ll have to people watch and pore over photos and think really, really hard. And that’s kind of fun, but also exhausting and frustrating.

Sometimes, I’m asked to write stuff for other blogs/magazines/websites (which, by the way, if you want me to write for you, I’d totally be up for it. Email me!) This can equally be hard, as the ideas bounce around inside my brain and I try and streamline them into something that resembles an article. After all, I did study journalism at a fairly good university, so you’d think I should be able to use the skills.

Can I also add, that because of this stupid way of thinking, I don’t drive? I get too distracted by cows and birds to focus on the road. I have accepted my lot as one of life’s passengers (in the driving way. I’m very proactive otherwise.)

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