I kept re-reading these four words as I waited in a long line at a stop sign. It certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this sign in the rear window of a car. I was fixated. I grinned. Then, suddenly, I bust out laughing. For gosh sakes, if anyone needs a sign in their rear window, its writers! Driving is prime thinking time; it’s when ideas hit.
For the record, I don’t imagine and drive! Well, it’s hard to explain. I guess I do. Ideas hit when I am: stuck in traffic and barely moving; in a long line at a stop sign or light; backing out of my driveway; or, have just parked. And, occasionally, I take a spontaneous detour, like when I recently saw a cathedral. I parked up close, jotted notes and drew pictures. What an excuse for arriving late! “Sorry, but, I drove 10 miles out of my way, because I needed to fine-tune a description of a building in my novel…”
So, does driving really shift something in our brains and fire up our creative engine? Researchers have found that any bodily movement builds brains, according to Kimerer LaMothe, PhD, author of Why We Dance: A Philosophy of Bodily Becoming. Yes, even driving! Every movement a human makes matters, and repetitive motions deepen and strengthen future attention and energy flow. Hmmm…sure sounds like typing, writing longhand, plus, all the routine movements of a writer – turning on a laptop, standing up and walking to a printer, shuffling through papers. And, don’t forget, every little movement involved in brewing coffee, tea, and tearing the wrapper off of chocolate.
After seeing that student driver sign, I came home and drafted a list (instead of revising my works in progress). Here’s my final list of signs for writer’s cars:
Caution: Writer driving.
Be patient. Writer driver decided to get rid of a character.
This vehicle makes frequent stops and turns frequently. Writer driver pulls over to scribble ideas.
How’s my driving? Call your librarian.
Warning: Stay close. Writer driver studying you in her rearview mirror. Wants her main character to have your hairdo.
Caution: Slow moving vehicle. Writer driver sighted a landmark that she wants to feature in her book.
This vehicle stops at all railroad crossings. Writer driver studying crossings for accurate portrayal in her book.
Our adult writer driver is on a Revising Roll.
Perhaps, I should relocate my office to the inside of my car – and sit in my driveway and type away! I’ll wait till fall, when the temperature drops.