I’m a big fan of my brain. Honestly, there’s very little I’d be able to do without it. I’d be struggling to get up in the morning. I’d have great difficulty tying my shoelaces. I suspect many more significant tasks, such as eating and breathing, would be much more challenging without the contribution of my brain.
Beyond the basic things – the things that serve to keep you alive – I have a number of other reasons for being appreciative of my brain. It’s a really good brain when it comes to many higher order functions as well. It’s an excellent problem solving brain. It’s also a highly creative brain. I have to give my brain the credit for most of the story ideas I come up with. And I like to think it’s an empathetic brain as well. It’s a brain that is able to think about how other people feel, and not just be obsessed with me, me, me.
Sure my brain has its quirks. It can get overly fixated on certain things. And sometimes when I want it to relax, especially when I’m lying in bed trying to get to sleep, it just won’t stop, forcing me to toss and turn for hours. Not to mention that, particularly as I grow older, it gets worse and worse at remembering things, regularly letting critical information slip away.
But if I had to select one aspect of my brain that I find most frustrating, it would have to be that my brain tends to work at a much faster pace than the rest of me. Generally, I’m a pretty slow and steady sort of person. I tend not to move too quickly, and like to take a lot of care before I jump into anything. My brain, on the other hand, can have very different ideas. It’s constantly zooming ahead, leaving the rest of me way behind.
I often find I have to stop whatever I’m doing to tell my brain to slow down. Sometimes it pays attention to what I say. Other times, it’s too far ahead to even hear me.
Even now, as I’m writing this piece, my brain is already in a bunch of other places. It’s thinking about ideas for further posts. It’s wondering how many commas one can reasonably put into a sentence before it becomes a better idea to split the sentence in two. It’s contemplating a number of possibilities for dinner for tonight. It’s…You see the problem. I tell you, getting this post actually written is becoming a major challenge.
As a writer, it’s important to have a good brain. A brain that is able to come up with new ideas. A brain that can solve the various problems of narrative that present themselves. A brain that can get into the heads of each of my characters. What isn’t always so great is a brain that is already off and planning another twenty or so stories while I’m still trying to finish the current one.
And now I need to finish this post off. I wish I knew how. Unfortunately, as usual, my brain is far, far away.
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