If this seems like a contradiction, read on and I will explain. I believe that even when I am doing other things such as washing dishes, enjoying a movie or staring off into space, part of my brain is still involved in my manuscript. It’s a behind the scenes sort of a thing. I’m not even aware of it except for sometimes hearing a squeak or a whirr when a mental gear clicks over. I do see the results though in the days when I sit down and my fingers start tapping away and it all comes spilling out of me. Scenes are so vivid I can see them, Dialogue is fresh and spot-on, My direction is clear. I’d say the proportion of days when I play with my hair, bob around on the ‘net, and waste time on Facebook far outweigh the truly, awesomely productive days but I don’t think I’d have any of those without the other.
Occupying myself with some mundane task or with something that only uses the top-most layer of my brain allows my mind to drift in all kinds of delightful ways. It also, I think, prepares my brain for work. A series of meaningless actions which somehow un-tether my creative side. This is why I carry my trusty notebook in my pocket at all times. You never know when a vista, a snatch of conversation, a picture will unlock something.
Writing my blog, in fact, gets me into work mode by making me think about the process of writing as opposed to thinking about going shopping on Ebay. And I’ve allowed myself a certain amount of time in which to futz around. Some of it is valuable in different ways although it doesn’t directly contribute to my daily word count goals. Checking in on my favorite editor/agent/writer blogs for instance which inform and remind me that there is a supportive community out there for lonely writers and a much bigger world than the one I occupy for much of the day.