Here in the midwest we’ve been wrapped up in what they’re calling a Polar Vortex. It sounds pretty awesome, but with wind-chills taking Chicago to 50 below it’s not really as fun as it sounds. Given the way that I work, it’s murder on my productivity.
When it comes to writing, I’m a die-hard planner. Before I even write the first line of anything, I’ve got scene spreadsheets, complete character write-ups, timeline plans, and all kinds of other little files. This is when the bulk of my creativity comes into play; I might not know exactly how it’ll come out on the page, but I know who my characters are and what they’re going to do.
But the bulk of my creative effort doesn’t come from charts and character profiles. No, my raw creative work is brainstorming. In the shower, in the bath, before I go to bed, I’m thinking about my current project and rolling it around in my head. When I’m not consciously thinking about it, my subconscious mind is hard at work refining it.
With the temperatures as cold as they’ve been, I’ve lost a major part of my process: walking. Normally when I’m planning a book I’ll walk for a few hours a day, letting my mind drift as my feet go where they need to. It’s been too cold, and I haven’t been able to put this precious brainstorming technique into play, so I’ve been stuck in the same planning phase since New Year’s Day. Today I was able to get out and about, and BAM. Plot has shaken loose from the cobwebs between my ears.