On Having Time and Space to Think

After a hectic couple of weeks where I’d overbooked myself (literally — I was editing two books at once), I got a reprieve. I took two days mostly off, followed by a light workweek. Rather than spending that time playing video games or watching afternoon TV talk shows, I spent it thinking. Just thinking.

Some of the thinking was useless, like the time I spent wondering about the social meaning of Pat from Saturday Night Live, like, 15 years ago. Why did the person of indeterminate sex have to be dumpy, rather than a sylph-like Bowie-esque androgyne? Why was everyone so concerned about determining Pat’s gender? Why was I just getting around to thinking about it?

Giving my thoughts the space to roam free came up with some great stuff, too, like a full plot and better-developed characters for a novel I’d been stuck on. And several automotive ideas to pitch to national women’s magazines. And a plan for where I’d like my career to go next. And outlining a few big steps for getting there, like trying to make it to the ASJA conference next month.

Having an energetic dog helps, since I have to walk him every morning, rain or shine, no negotiating. The longer we walk, the more thinking I can do, and the more tired he gets. His napping all morning gives me the time to jot down or act on that morning’s thinking. Or to, say, write the blog post I outlined in my head this morning.