A couple weeks back, the Husband bought two iron rocking chairs for the back deck along with a sun umbrella and a little matching table. We also go a found lovely little fountain. Suddenly, the back deck is a welcoming place to hang out and enjoy the greenery of the backyard. Just in time, too. Temperatures have been stupidly hot lately and in the evenings, the back deck has been a cool haven.
I’ve spent a lot of time outside on the deck since we made it a place where we could be comfortable and I’ve discovered something: the benefits of just sitting and thinking in the quiet. If I have music, it’s instrumental music like the Elder Scrolls soundtrack, Two Steps From Hell, or Classical. I discovered that the more I sit in the rocking chair, sipping my coffee, watching the squirrels and birds, the more my mind wanders, noodling over plot problems, story ideas, and daydreams.
This is something John Pitts talked about in his Genreality piece, Finding My Way Back to the Sea. He talks about rocking in a chair his family gave him and looking into himself to find his inspiration, to find the story. A lot of this is all about the ability to stop being distracted… or distracting yourself… and letting yourself be alone with your thoughts, to have the time to think, to consider, to ponder whatever comes to mind.
The more often I just sit and think, the more creative well is refilled, the more the story I’m telling becomes clear. I don’t sit and think for long. Just 10-15 minutes at a time… the length of a cup of coffee. But it’s enough. It also makes me realize how much we are overwhelmed with stuff every single day and how little we have time for our thoughts.
As an author, I need time to think. I didn’t realize it but it explains why activities like driving without music, showering, and gardening are so good for the soul. And why I usually have some of my best ideas when I’m nowhere near pen and paper. It’s in these times that you refill the creative well and your mind quiets enough to hear past the static and stress of everyday life.
I’ve been a professional author / editor for over a decade now and I’m still learning things every day. I’m glad I realized this need for time to think and daydream… and that I now have the perfect spot to do so.