Do any of you use the Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar? I did so in 2008 and purchased it again for 2009. While it has been extremely helpful to have a calendar specifically for my writing and writing-related activities, the snippets of information gained from the authors' interviews have been awesome. One particularly good one recently was that of Cindy Allen, a writer and pilot who lives in Missouri. In her interview, she talked of sleepwalking through the motions of daily activities and reminding herself to be aware of the present.
She says..."Walking past story ideas happens when the brain is on autopilot. I've found that writing realistic stories begins by disconnecting the autopilot and actively observing life around me."
Reading this created a profound, "duh" moment as Margie Lawson would call it. All too often, it is so easy to get caught up and carried away by life's events and activities rather than paying attention and using them to our advantage. I, for one, am very guilty of switching my writer's hat on and off and not paying attention to the present and all it offers. So, I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on the present and pay attention to the story possibilities around me regardless of which hat I am wearing at the moment--writer, speech path, mom, wife, etc. Here's to the demise of my brain on autopilot! Thank you Cindy Allen and Sylvia Forbes for putting together such a great planner.