Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trains and Trances

J.K. Rowling said she got the idea for Harry Potter while riding a train. Well, today I had to take the train into Chicago (I never drive into the city!) for a seminar, and rather jokingly thought as I boarded that maybe lightning would strike twice. Well, I don't know about that, but I did see several things that inspired me on the trip, and while she said she got the whole plot in a flash, I got more bits and pieces that might one day weave together into an interesting whole.

While I was chugging along, I also remembered that Einstein was inspired by a train ride, too. I could see why - it's easy to lose oneself in the rhythmic motion, eerie lights and passing faces. Maybe I'll take the train more often. :)

From what I've read in other places, it seems rhythmic motions and/or white noise tends to open the creative channels for some - train and automobile rides are recurring favorites, as are the drones of hair dryers and vacuum cleaners. The theory is that our minds open to the universal creative force when we're in a meditative state. Is there anything in particular that seems to put you into a creative trance?


  1. I read that about JK's train ride too. I just thought, why can't an entire book seep into my head like that. LOL. I guess boat rides do it for me. I love the lake, and we play on it in the summer. A lazy cruise on a sunny day fires the imagination. Many of my stories have a lakeside locale, so I'm halfway there.

  2. Showers! Long, hot, steamy showers. I sit on the floor of the bathtub and just imagine. I do most of my writing in my head, that way!

    Btw, thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm glad I found yours!

  3. Thanks for dropping in, Spyscribbler - nice to see you! :)

    Must be the negative ions the shower releases (for all that they're called negative, they have a positive effect!) that do the trick. :)

    So, let's see... according to what I've learned so far, a good writing day would start with a nice long shower, followed by a warm blow dryer, listening to SOMEONE ELSE run the vacuum cleaner (he he) before going out for a nice walk that's followed by a car ride to the train station, then boarding a train and riding it to the beach where we hop on a boat and sail away.

    Sign me up! :)

  4. Walking my dog always does it for me. I walk about 45 minutes and my mind started wandering it's own creative avenues. Liz suggested I get a mini recorder today, and I'm going to check it out. Sometimes I think of the perfect line of dialogue, and by the time I get home it's turned into a clunky one.

  5. I know what you mean, Edie - that's why I bought one. Unfortunately, though, I sometimes forget to take it with me, or I leave it in the car and the "perfect" idea comes to me in bed at 3am when I'm too tired to get up and write. I tried keeping pen & paper by the bed, but sometimes I'm just too tired even for that. Need to buy another recorder. :)


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