|Angry Birds by |
Rovio Entertainment Ltd
Whatever this component is in my brain, I believe it is in high gear when I am writing a novel. Right now, I have novel characters that have become so real in my head, that I think about them when I'm not "with them" at my computer. I wonder what they're going to do next, and ruminate on what they've already done. They become as real as the young people I'm watching on American Idol week after week. I remarked to my husband the other night that I've watched these singers so long now I feel as if I know them somehow.
We went to the mountains last week for spring break. I wanted to write on the trip up, but the kids were in the car, so I opted to play games on my new gadget. I read first using my Bible app and made some very cool Biblical discoveries, then completed a whole crossword puzzle, a game of Sudoku, and several rounds of Angry Birds. When I got stuck on a level, I'd play over and over and over, determined to destroy their houses and kill those little pigs. "These are some smart pigs!" my family got used to me exclaiming. Finally, I had to flip that switch and let go of the pigs and the angry birds for a while. It took a minute or two for my heart to settle down and my temperature to cool.
The same thing happens when I'm trying to write a new chapter and crack its code. Sometimes I have to try over and over with different tactics until the chapter works. When it does, it's a feeling of immense satisfaction. It's clear to me, that writing a novel definitely uses that same Angry Bird component--the compulsive, have-to-keep-going-until-I-complete-this-thing part of my brain--and I'm grateful for it. I think it's a blessing.
So how about you? Do you have a teenager in your family who just can't stop playing video games or practicing basketball or doodling...or...fill in the blank? It might be a blessing in disguise. I have learned that God has wired me this way. I love to be fully engaged mentally. Now, I can either use this part of my brain for mind-numbing entertainment that gets me nowhere and helps no one, or I can use it for something worthwhile. My God-given stick-to-it-ness allows me to spend weeks training for a half-marathon or months in a fictitious world writing a novel. At Christmas-time I can complete massive puzzles of cats with a multitude of minuscule pieces...but I doubt that's ever helped anyone.