That’s what makes us writers appear like scatterbrained police detectives much of the time. A friend may be telling me something heartbreaking, joyful, or worrying, but I am thinking about how it might fit into the bigger picture of what I will write. I hope I respond appropriately most of the time, as long as you don’t mind me diving for my iPhone to make a note while you talk. I really do care, honest, so much that I am deeply thinking about the implications of what you’re saying. Okay, maybe I’m only thinking about how cool it would be to have a kleptomaniac kindergarten teacher likes yours as a heroine in a story about overcoming obstacles, but I WILL remember you told me a story about a kleptomaniac kindergarten teacher. Being a writer is partly an art of listening deeply while thinking about many things.
Today, I can only write after I do a long-neglected chore that has brought me up against a deadline, so I will be cranky, of course, until I can get back to my desk. When I do, I plan on working a bit more on writing some monologues from the viewpoint of a couple of characters who are puzzling me. If I give them free rein to answer some pointed questions, I hope they’ll provide me with a deeper peek into their motivations.
What are you writing today?