Each night before I settle me head down on my down pillow, I turn on my Kindle and take in a TED talk. These are 10-20 minute video lectures of positivity and creativity spoken by the best minds in the world. Always an impeccable bedtime story.
Last night, the lecture taught us how to add 10 years to a life by playing games. Along with getting off my tush every hour and dancing around, the need for social interaction and kindness is needed. This sedimentary writers life is doing more than making me an arthritic alcoholic. Surprising to hear is that our bodies weren’t designed to hunch over a keyboard making up stories, it was meant to hunt, gather and garden.
Possessing a sound mind and a bit of red wine, I planted a garden at midnight.
I hoed and plowed until 1:00am, then sprinkled seeds in an inorderly manner, finally turning the sprinkler on my patch of growth. Not at all like the neat little rows you see in everyone else’s garden, mine will be one of surprise.
Do I anticipate problems?
Of course! Even if I did it the “right way”, I would have weeds, gophers, droughts and giant zucchini.
The point is that I did it. After arguing through the spring and summer with my husband about how to plant this garden, as he wanted raised beds with proper avian wire underneath to battle the gophers and a suitable fence to scuffle the deer and bunnies and twinkling old AOL CD’s to combat the crows, etc., etc. His was a war before one seed dropped. I wanted to throw the seeds in the dirt, mix in some horse and chicken poop and see what God gives us.
Now the garden is two fold- one an experiment in the age-old marital battle “who was right”. The other is a brain strengthening, life sustaining and produce-inducing plot of land. Anyone for a pumpkin-green bean?
Take a story and write it without any “thought” verbs. You may not use Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
You can also take an old story, and change it so it has no thought verbs. This is very good for honing your editing skills.
This brilliant lesson was from Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club and many other fantastic books) and it resonated with me so much, I am going to try and write this way forever. His whole lesson and explanation is at the link below. It is worth your time to try. Even if you are a new writer, it is a fun experiment.