With a clear mind, writing comes easy. It flows, it floats… It moves continuously in one direction, with a noticeable force. It carries momentum, and when that momentum is finished, the reader is left carrying that weight in their brain.
About 98% of the time, however, as per my own research, a clear mind is hard to come by…
Scatterbrained writing is one of the most difficult things to deal with when writing. The situation itself would breed impatience in most, but often times, a scatterbrained mind is one that’s already more susceptible to impatience. Creating quite the hassle for the writer.
One of the telltale signs of scatterbrained writing, is what I, about five minutes ago, decided to call “trampoline writing.”
In this case, the trampoline is your brain, and the person on the trampoline is your cursor (if you’re writing on a computer, that is). Despite the never-ending downward force of gravity, the trampoline (your scattered brain), keeps tossing your cursor back up, and up, and up, and up. With every short stint of downward momentum, comes a resistance, and then a full-blown launch back into fresh air.
There’s a reason why we sometimes refer to a personal rebound as “landing on your feet.” There’s no such thing as landing when you’re on a trampoline… Finding a steady foot proves nearly impossible.
There’s nothing worse than thinking, “I’ve probably written 600 words, yet only about 120 are on the page in front of me... What happened?”
Realizing the inefficiencies of your own brain can be depressing.
In my opinion, the best thing you can do to best handle this situation, is simply to build your own awareness of your mental environment. Meaning, train yourself to simply see when you're scatterbrained.
Pay more attention to your cursor. Pay attention to how many words stay on the page. Pay attention to how many times you repeat a thought in your writing. Always have this mental checklist lingering while you’re writing. Hell, why not, go ahead and write the checklist out and keep it by your side. Whatever works.
Once you’ve reached a level of awareness where these things are easily noticeable, you can start to play around with it.
Because, look, I get it… Some days, your brain just isn’t having it. Through and through. The best you’re going to get is through a muscle-bound strain and some serious mental squeezing. That’s okay, though, as long as you understand what’s happening.
Once you understand the situation you’re in, you'll free your mind up to move more freely.
Admittedly, it takes a lot of time. And frankly, I’m not even sure I’m there yet, or even close. But if I were to give someone advice on how to handle scatterbrained writing, I’d suggest just that… To play within your current mental environment.
It’s important to accept the fact that sometimes it takes time to escape bad environments. So, while you’re stuck there, have some fun.
Having fun brings on relaxation. And relaxation lets you write with gravity - constantly downward, with little resistance.
And as most of us know, writing is about those unnoticeable things… The momentum, the gravity, and so on. The things that are only viewable in hindsight.
These intangible moments are what make writing impossible to know how to master. Not impossible to master, you see? Impossible to know how to master.
These moments, however, are also what makes writing amazing. Because when you do move through those intangible moments, to the peaks and positives, you feel the ultimate sense of individual accomplishment. You feel connected to yourself and the world, all at once. And you don’t even know how it happened.
So, play within your own mental environment. Have some fun. While I do urge you to write as much as possible, it’s simultaneously important to understand that there probably will be a tomorrow. And tomorrow, there will be more writing to do. There will always be more writing to do.
So don’t ever avoid writing… Just know that sometimes, you’re going to write something that doesn’t make any sense. You’re going to write something weird. Sometimes, you’re going to write something that completely sucks. But who cares, honestly. If we did everything at a 100% success rate, there’d be no point to anything at all.
So relax, write with gravity, and be patient with yourself. Be patient with your mind and your writing. It'll keep your brain flowing and your cursor moving.