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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

writer brain

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

I was supposed to meet two newish author-friends for coffee. One didn’t show. When we checked on her it turned out Janis and I were both a week early. I used to think doing things like this was just part of Being Erika but now I’m wondering if maybe it also has something to do with Being A Writer.

It’s a pretty interesting hypothesis. One I like. A lot.

For years I’ve attributed what others have politely referred to as ditziness to my comma-sized attention span (I’m the person who wanders off to do dishes during the opening credits of a pay-per-view movie). And my organizational challenges haven’t been a picnic either. (I once carted every remotely official-looking paper in a cardboard box to the lawyer’s office for our house closing, eventually dumping everything, including Barbie amputees and socks, on the conference table in desperate search of a tax form.)

But now, the more I talk to other writers, the more I think the proclivity towards distraction has something to do with a distinct agitating creativity. Our writer-brains are just always in motion, gathering details. Listening in on other peoples’ conversations. Taking notes for the backstories of future characters. Paying regular attention just aint in our wheelhouse. (Or whatever the phrase is.)

One time I was talking to a psych professor, exclaiming over the amazing plot structures in dreams. “I mean they have perfect arcs!” I said excitedly, wanting to connect. “I mean, how does the brain do that while you’re asleep!” The science guy didn’t know what I was talking about. In fact, I think he maybe even looked at me with a touch of professional concern.

Which brings me back to the coffee date.  I can’t help but think three shrinks or three engineers would all show up for a meeting at the right time. The good news is I’m sure our little group will try again. Though I’m thinking we should call each other before leaving home.

ps follow me on twitter @erikaraskin — just because.


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