Sunday, May 27, 2012

Engaging the Superior Colliculus

So there are times when the writing doesn't go well.  Remember me talking about those intimidating blank pages?  Yeah...they're the worst.  Especially when all of the sudden you feel like there's nothing to say.  And then there's that annoying little voice that starts talking in the back of your brain...telling you that why would anyone want to listen to you?  What makes you think you have anything interesting to talk about?  That voice is reallllly irritating, especially when that blank page isn't filling itself up and there are distractions all around.

I don't write well with audible distractions.  Dialogue, music with lyrics, conversation...let's just say I don't multi-task well.  So writing with the TV on?  That's out.  Writing while listening to any music with words to it?  Soo very out.  Writing while talking to someone else?  Well unless you want a transcript of the conversation...really not happening.  Maybe it's because I was always interested in theatre and music, words are what really draw me.  Words have a power that a lot of people disregard.  And words that are spoken...  Well a good speech can engage a nation, incite a riot, or inspire genius.

Don't believe me?  Read the Declaration of Independence out loud.  Read Thomas Paine's Common Sense to someone and see how they react.  Heck, read the Gettysburg Address.  Try reading something like The Charge of the Light Brigade or Invictus... poetry especially was mean to be read aloud.  Even this, reading this blog... try it out loud.  See how it sounds in your ears.  Words are meant to be heard.  Given a choice I'd rather be blind than deaf.

So when I'm confronted with a blank page and what seems like endless distractions, my best bet is to go away from it for a while.  I try to do something else.  Sometimes reading will help, getting my brain on the right track for when the distractions go away or at least get the volume turned down.  Of course, if I just get plain old stuck reading doesn't always do it.

There's really nothing worse than knowing you have something to say, and being unable to say it.  The words don't come, or they come out so badly that you can write pages of garbage and still know it's completely wrong.  To call it frustrating is mild, but sometimes after the pages of garbage  my brain finally gets going and the words just flow.  That is soooo gratifying.

Other times...yeah, the other times are...well it's best to go away from the laptop before I do something really stupid like throw it, or try to erase every document on the hard drive.  So I take a lesson from the great Doctor Sheldon Cooper, and I attempt to engage my superior colliculus.

For folks who've never seen The Big Bang Theory I'll explain.  When Sheldon gets stuck on a problem he does something mind numbing, like manual labor, in order to distract himself and get his brain working on the problem without his conscious knowledge.  Sheldon decided to go and volunteer at a restaurant, waiting tables in order to get his superior colliculus working.  Since I really don't ever want to work (or volunteer) in food service ever again, I clean my house. bathroom is sparkling, the husband's bathroom is sparkling, and all but two rooms are dusted and vacuumed.  The result of this is more than a few aches and pains that make me grateful for my day off tomorrow.  But I now have a clean house and I can finally write.   

And on the dollhouse front, I'm figuring out how to build a case for the house.  What I need to do is have the house enclosed to protect it, but removable so I can actually build it.  Does that make sense?  I'm still working on it obviously.  One of the women at work gave me the idea of building a wooden frame and then gluing Plexiglas into the frame, then covering it with wooden trim.  That way at least I wouldn't have to try and drill the Plexiglas, which was my biggest worry.  Wood I have no problem with.   

I'll keep working on it.  But if I can build shelves for the cats and install ceiling fans, I'm pretty sure I can do this.  Heck, I've even got a drill/screwdriver.  No saws yet, but the hardware store can do the cutting for me.  

I'm open to suggestions.

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