One of the things I have been very aware of over the past few years is a phenomenon I call “writer brain.” It exists in most humans I think. Some of us more than others. I first understood it, dimly, when I watched Ally McBeal back in the day. The show explains it, demonstrates it, better than I can. But I will try to explain a bit of what I mean.
You know how you walk into your closet because you are getting ready for a meeting and you look at a pair of low slung pumps that are really cute and (especially if you haven’t met the person you are meeting) all of a sudden you get this image in your head of a fabulously gay man who fawns all over you because of your cute shoes? They recognize you’re an amazing designer and you go on to do great work together. Then you look at your boots and they say “last year” and you get an image of the exact same person turning his nose up. So you grab the pumps and they become the source of your outfit for the day. Because you played out in 2 minutes this entire scenario in your mind, you have your outfit.
Ally did things like this all the time.
That’s writer brain.
Now imagine such a thing happens all the time with every decision you make, from what you have for breakfast to what you’ll watch on TV that evening. That’s writer brain. Every phone call you make, every idea you put out there, rolls a screen in your mind with possibilities. If you watched the movie A Christmas Story you hear Ralphie talking about it over the dub of his father in the basement, cursing. It’s writer brain except he did write the story and you’re watching it while hearing him tell you about it. He used his writer brain to write the movie.
I find myself recognizing when I do this, more and more.
The difference between a writer and a normal person is the writer writes the stories down.
My grandmother did the same thing but she believed the stories and so she told the most fanciful lies and was a crazy cat lady. But maybe if she had recognized it for what it was, she might have been a great fiction author instead of being the town crank.
So I thought I’d mention it. Writer brain is a Thing. Be aware.
Photo credit: Pixabay.