If you didn’t know already, I also blog at Aussie Owned and Read once a month – commonly I post interviews or writing advice. This time, it was a poll on where you get your writing ideas. If you haven’t voted, do so here. I’d love to know where you get ideas! Today I want to talk about doing the washing.
Well, okay, not quite. It’s more the fact that doing the washing, or hanging it out, is a really repetitive and boring task. But, at least for me, that leaves my mind to wander. I get a lot of this kind of time in my life. Time when I’m not really doing anything strenuous or that requires much concentration. This includes:
1) Walking. I live close to my city’s centre, so I can walk pretty much everywhere: school, the local plaza, the library, the train station. I don’t listen to music while I walk – I just think. Walking is a great way to let your mind wander, and this is how a lot of my ideas originate.
2) Chores. I mentioned doing the washing before, but there are so many: vacuuming, doing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom…if you have to do them, might as well daydream at the same time! (pro tip: if you’re cooking, don’t daydream TOO much. That’s how I ended up getting the electric beaters stuck in my hair. Fun times).
3) Work. Okay, obviously you can’t daydream at every job. But if you’re a teen, like me, and have a part-time job, it’s often repetitive. I’m a waitress at a Thai restaurant, which means a lot of time ferrying food back and forth. All I’ve got to do is make sure I don’t get green curry on anyone (I haven’t YET).
4) Waiting in queues/traffic. Because, unfortunately, this happens a lot.
(who would keep Cookie Monster waiting? That’s just mean)
5) Transport. A lot of my school friends catch buses or trains to school – I used to as well. If you’re not with friends, there’s a lot of downtime for thinking.
6) Driving. I have to admit that I am an awful driver. Most of my concentration is focused on trying to obey the road rules. But when I get onto a freeway and am comfortable doing the same speed for a while, my thoughts eventually wander to whatever story I’m working on at the moment.
I mean, I spend a large chunk of my time on the internet, so that doesn’t help with thinking of ideas. But there’s a lot to like about just doing things without having to really concentrate. When I’m doing repetitive, simple tasks, my brain decides to go all over the place, and starts giving me ALL the ideas. It’s quite nice, but I wish it would work in a more convenient place – for example, when I’m near a computer to write the dratted things down.
What about you? Do you come up with ideas while hanging out the washing? Or when you’re doing other, similar tasks?