The Workings of a Restless Mind

I'm sure you've all been there.

It's late and you're tired, but you just can't get to sleep. You lay there, eyes closed and silently furious with yourself. Why? Because even though you should be sleeping and putting that over-active brain to rest, you just can't stop planning story elements. I have this particular problem far too often.

I can go to bed and still be up at two in the morning! It's like I'm like a spider working restlessly to create multiple webs and trying to connect them all. My problem is that although my eight-part urban fantasy is my main concern, I'm still developing ideas for my future projects. This week I somehow ended up coming up with yet another idea for a different series of books and automatically started developing the characters and writing a draft the first chapter in my head.

One of my main problems is that I never seem to be able to switch off my brain. I'm constantly thinking and developing ideas, despite whether or not I use them. Because of this I'm thought of as being quiet, broody and/or shy. Holidays with my family growing up were a challenge because I'd be sitting in a pub with nothing but the sound of terrible karaoke singers, and sometimes even worse tribute acts to keep me entertained. It didn't work so I ended up climbing back into my head to draw up elaborate storyboards and come up with new ideas. Do you know what you look like when you're doing this?

Miserable. You look miserable- or at least I do. I can't even begin to fathom how many times someone asked me if I was OK because of how utterly unhappy I apparently looked. My family joke about it today. Because of this habit I'm considered anti-social by certain people and I'll be the first to agree with them. I am anti-social and I don't really care. Why should I? I have a group of close friends who I can open up to and have fun with, and even better they like the same stuff I do. One of my friends even wrote some stories herself so I can always go to her for an opinion on anything I'm writing. In fact, I can pretty much do this with all my friends and I do. Some might frown at this because it means I'm letting outside forces interfere with my writing, when really it's helping me work out the best way to go about it.

Remember when I said I'm like a spider making several webs? Well each web represents all the ideas going through my mind (although I'm sure you worked that out. It's not a hard metaphor to understand) and sometimes those webs are just multiple possible consequences of other ideas. I occasionally need help working out what ideas to string together and sometimes I can just spend hours by myself until two or three in the morning deciding what I want to keep and what I want to put in a chest to hide away in the Room of Requirement for later development (it turns out the inside of my head looks a lot like Hogwarts. Think of Sherlock's Mind Palace. Mine's a Mind-Hogwarts!).

Maybe I'm just rambling by this point. My point is that my mind is occasionally my worse enemy and I love it!