Monday, October 01, 2007

When You Think Too Much

Over the weekend, I tried to iron out some specific plot details for the Italy novel. By Sunday evening, I was depressed because I just couldn't figure it out. Why, I thought, do I make things so difficult?

There's a few reasons. One, I don't want to do every other idea that's out there. I want to be original. And in so doing, I can't use the first thing that pops into my mind. The problem is, by blocking those thoughts, I'm also blocking the entire creative process. I'm not allowing my brain to cast aside the junk to get to the gold.

The two sides of my brain are at war - the analytical side and the creative side. This makes for some darn frustrating moments where I just want to abandon the entire idea and move on to something else. I'm just thinkking too darn much.

There's a book called Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, a new and upgraded edition of the online test from Gallup's Now, Discover Your Strengths. This book helps you discover your strengths. After taking an extensive online questionnaire, my results came back and honestly, I wasn't too surprised by them. Number one on my list? Intellection. And the definition boils down to, "You like to think."

But there's a danger in thinking too much - on everything. My brain needs a break sometimes!

Last night, before I went to sleep, I started to look through my novel notes with nothing more in mind than to see what I'd already come up with. Before I knew it, ideas began to spark and suddenly, everything fell into place. I tried not to scrutinize those ideas, but to just let them come. When I was finished writing everything down, I knew I'd made it to the top of my mental mountain.

I went to bed with peace in my heart. And now, I can't wait to get started writing!


  1. Sounds like an interesting test! And at least you're results weren't - you don't like to think!

  2. I tend to have the same problem -- in writing and in life. I over analyze things and get frustrated when the answers aren't coming. The best thing for me seems to be to try to move on and do something else. The subconscious is always hard at work and will usually offer up a revelation while I'm at the grocery store or sorting socks. It's not very reliable, but it seems to be the way my brain works.

  3. Glad to hear that your synapses are firing again!

    I'm off to check out the Strengths Finder...looks interesting!

  4. Sometimes I suffer from the exact same thing. And what I do is read something completely different, watch mindless tv or run out to do something completely pampering. like a facial or pedicure! Then at night I'll wake up and have an epiphany!


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