Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shiny, New Idea and Traumatic Brain Injury


I got struck on the noggin a week ago with a new idea for a book. How appropriate, given I've been writing about traumatic brain injury (TBI).

TBI
in writers due to a fast-moving, hard-hitting Shiny, New Idea (SNI) is not such a different beast.

I'm dizzy and delirious and have short-term memory loss (mostly with regards to housework, LOL).

I can't remember what I was doing at the time the SNI hit me. Good thing too, because it probably involved taking the garbage out to the curb or unclogging my bathroom drain. Gross.

Have you been hit by a SNI lately? What weird things did it do to you?

Also, take a moment to stop by Laura Diamond's blog where she is tackling this month's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic chosen by Deb Salisbury: How would you personify your writing muse?

54 comments:

Read my books; lose ten pounds! said...

Oh, thats what I feel like when I get a SNI to!

Anne Gallagher said...

OMG YES!!! I got hit with the first page to a story I've been wondering about for the last 2 years! It's fantastic, it's great, it's wonderful and it's all I can do to keep the kitchen clean and the laundry caught up!

And I was falling asleep when I first thought of it. So I memorized the first 3 sentences like a mantra and OMG I remembered them when I woke up. So yay for me. I am stoked. And yay for you!

Laura Pauling said...

I love shiny new ideas. I have a couple but neither are fully developed yet in my mind. And I'm really trying to focus on finishing my rewrites first.

Slamdunk said...

Ha, yes. It usually strikes during the mudane tasks; I think it was unclogging a drain for me as well, but the dreaded shower one that the ladies use here...

Sarah said...

Mine often arrive as I'm listening to people talk. But this last time, it hit as I arrived home to visit my family in Indiana. And for a week, I walked around and took pictures of seemingly insignificant things and locations that I thought I'd include in the book. I grilled my father about some stuff that would comprise the core of the story until he couldn't stand to talk to me anymore. No one asked me if I had TBI, but they may have thought I had become psychotic.

Elouise82 said...

My SNIs usually hit in the middle of a conversation with my husband. Thankfully, we've been married long enough now that he recognizes the symptoms (open mouth, glazed eyes, trailing off in the middle of a sentence), and just quietly goes away until I come back to myself. Maybe eventually I'll get him trained to bring me my laptop when the SNI hits, so I don't have to worry about running into walls on my way to jot the idea down!

Em-Musing said...

SNI's hit me daily for my blogs. And like shooting stars, they just momentary thoughts. The last big SNI that hit me was three years ago and has led to three books.

Kelly said...

I love sni's! I have a book idea list word file to keep general ideas in for when the idea strikes. I do try to keep focused on the current wip, and I need an SNI for my next scene right now. I'm stuck!

B.E. Sanderson said...

You're a hoot. =oD

I'm working on my last SNI right now. Mine woke me up in the middle of the night with such force I was driven out of bed. Of course, it's morphed a little since then, but it's still pretty shiny. And scary.

Miranda Hardy said...

I love SNI's. They are the best. I can't think of anything else until it's down on paper. The characters would be screaming at me.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for new ideas hitting you when you least expect! LOL!!!

Hope you are feeling better btw! Take care
x

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was going to put my WIP a side as I struggled to come up with a solution to a problem I was having. I thought about doing some research to figure out my next new project. But then I realized I would get sucked into a shiny new project and my other ones would be abandoned (even though I love them).

So now I'm going to wait until I've finished my revisions. Once the WIP is out with the next round of beta readers, then I can explore SNIs. :D

Rachna Chhabria said...

Oooh...I love the idea of this SNI hitting you. Must have made you giddy with happiness. Hope it didn't hurt you much. My advice is to jot down the symptoms (make notes on it). Take care. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

My most recent SNI is slowly working its way into a timeline. Very slowly. I know much more about characters than plot.

Jennee said...

I always get my best ideas while driving...but it makes writing them down difficult!

vbtremper said...

Good luck with your SNI! Mine don't cause symptoms until I really let myself think about them, which I don't until I have time to.

-Vicki

vbtremper said...

Good luck with your SNI! Mine don't cause symptoms until I really let myself think about them, which I don't until I have time to.

-Vicki

Liza said...

When I wake up at night now, I think about my characters and what has to happen next. Not exactly SNI, but it keeps me moving forward
and unfazed by insomnia!

Jonene Ficklin said...

Ha ha, love your graphics! SNI's have the bad habit of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, like when you're brushing your teeth, or swerving around a pothole. My favorite one hit while my family and I were on a long trip. I had ten lovely hours to brain-storm, while trying to answer my children's questions coherently. Didn't work to well - I got more than a few "Huh's?" from my wonderfully patient family. Great post! Best of luck with your shiny new idea!

Bee said...

Oh yes, yes, this is happening to me right now. And the funny thing is this SNI is totally out of my genre, so it's pretty crazy. I've been talking to the ceiling and my brother has pretty much declared that I belong to the asylum.

Matthew MacNish said...

This doesn't happen for me. I'm singularly focused on the task at hand. Though I suppose I do get scene ideas for the story I'm already writing out of nowhere sometimes.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

SNIs are the best, but they usually hit me at the worst possible times--while driving, in the shower, or in a ridiculously long line. So, I try to keep paper and pen/pencil with me at all times.

P.S. I just found your blog and am so happy that I have--wonderful!!! : )

Suze said...

What a cool question, Lydia. And I know exactly how to give shape to my precious muse-- a lightning bolt.

BECKY said...

Yes, they hit me at all times, too. Mine compares the closest to Cynthia Chapman Willis, above. I keep little tablets and pens/pencils EVERYWHERE. It happens so often when I'm driving, so I just jot down the main couple of words, and later I can actually read my scribbles!
P.S. Lydia...I need to talk to you about brain trauma! I'm such a klutzy person and I keep falling! :o

Angela Felsted said...

My shiny new ideas tend to bounce around like fireworks my brain, where they take off bits of gray matter until I have a hard time focusing on what I need to.

I guess that makes them a mixed blessing.

The Red Angel said...

Haha oh Lydia I always love the graphics you make! You should a sort of poll or contest to find out which graphics are our favorites. :) (My favorite has always been the Semi-permeable membrane one...just throwing that out there.)

Thankfully I have been so focused on my current WiP that TBI has yet to strike me down. :D I feel proud...

But then again...maybe I am that very unsuspecting writer and that SNI is just meters away from blowing me up. 0_0 Oh dear...

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Bossy Betty said...

That is a great depiction of what happens to me! I love it!

Carol Riggs said...

HaHA, love that drawing. Too true. Enjoyed your post about your scatterbrainedness while SNI has hit. I can certainly relate! Actually, SNI syndrome can occur anytime while heatedly writing, even when the idea isn't quite as shiny. ;o)

Karen Lange said...

Oh my, have felt like ideas have been coming from all angles...:) I so love your illustrations. They just fit SO well! :)

Munk said...

Lydia... I love your artwork, so please keep delivering, but for one terrifying moment, I thought your new shiny idea was a bloody Q-tip on the verge of squashing your purple writer person.

Connie said...

Absolutely!! I had a SNI on Sunday-they are wonderful. It makes the brain giddy and the fingers tingle. I started writing it on Monday--yay fr the holiday!

Olga said...

Housework can drive you not only to short-term memory loss, but to a complete nervous breakdown. How about that?

JEM said...

I'm trying really hard to avoid said flying SNIs as I finish out the second draft of my current WIP. I'm not allowed to have dessert until I've finished my peas!

Tracey Neithercott said...

"I can't remember what I was doing at the time the SNI hit me." Oh no! You're the doctor, quick: Can being hit on the head with a SNI falling from the sky cause memory loss?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, but once I've finished my revisions, I'm declaring myself an open target!

Krispy said...

I'm hoping no SNIs hit me since I actually have a WIP that I'm trying to concentrate on. Of course, now that I've said this, I will inevitably get struck...

Good luck with yours!

Meredith said...

Ah, I love SNIs! They seem to hit me when I'm driving or running or out for a walk. Some time where I actually have time to think.

Alleged Author said...

Your blog post title made me LOL. I have a SNI right now but am waiting until next week to begin writing. Have to get out of school first! :P

notesfromnadir said...

What a funny & accurate cartoon -- it made me LOL!

Take notes about your SNI & continue w/ current project. However, sometimes the SNI can become your current project so you've been warned!

Donna said...

I love when an idea comes......but I hate it when I don't write it down and it just goes away...like deer in the woods

Nas Dean said...

Oh, I love it when a new idea comes to me in the dead of the night and hate it when it goes away in the morning!

Nas Dean said...

Oh, I love it when a new idea comes to me in the dead of the night and hate it when it goes away in the morning!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Ha! I totally relate to this. I've been feverishly writing for the last couple weeks. It's wonderful :)

Walt Mussell said...

Been hit with a lot of SNIs but am dealing with editing a still shiny old idea, so I don't have time to deal with the new one.

Bryce Daniels said...

Aren't those SNIs amazing? Mine seem to come late at night, when I am trying to sleep. So I get up and start charting.

Darn muse. I'm just lucky my wife isn't the jealous type.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! What a clever post. And quite accurate. :)

Donna said...

I. Love. Your. Blog.........

lbdiamond said...

LOL! I have a couple ideas, but they're more like light raindrops rather than a meteor striking my skull. Cuz that would hurt and stuff.

Anyway, HOORAY FOR YOUR SHINY NEW IDEA!!! In all honesty, I think it's totally fun to mull over a new idea. ;)

Heather said...

Congratulations on your shiny new idea! Yay!!! I'd say sorry about the amnesia, but you're probably right, it's probably for the best. ;) I get so distracted when SNI's strike, but I love it!

Beth said...

I get hit by SNIs all the time. I try to anticipate and duck to get out of the way. If I actually get hit, I'm lost!

Chris Phillips said...

I got hit by one at an SCBWI conference and it made me not listen to the presenter. Felt kinda bad.

M Pax said...

I got bit by one while driving. I really don't recommend driving and writing at the same time.

Leslie Rose said...

There's something about going on a brisk walk and listening to music that opens my brain to SNI. I've learned to jot notes down on my cell phone so I don't lose them while I'm in the great outdoors.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I love your drawing! I can totally relate. :)

 
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