Monday, May 18, 2009

Stephen King on Working

King writes that when he is working, he visualizes himself in a special setting:

"I'm in another place, a basement place where there are lots of bright lights and clear images. This is a place I've built for myself over the years. It's a far-seeing place. I know it's a little strange, a little bit of a contradiction, that a far-seeing place should be in a basement place, but that's how it is with me. If you construct you own far-seeing place, you might put it in a treetop or on the roof of the Empire State Building, or on the edge of the Grand Canyon. It's your little red wagon, as Robert McCammon says in one of his novels."

Now, there's a thought.

I'd never approached creative thinking that way. Oh, yes, I'm a master of the Slide-out-of-my-body, Appear-to-be-conscious-except-for-a-slight-glaze-of-the-eyes.

The Old Exit Trick.

Been doing that since the second grade when things got boring and I had to behave.

And when I take a workshop, walk into a museum, put myself into a place where there's a lot of mental buzz going on, it turns my mind into a turbine and all sorts of ideas fly. I used to fill my college notebooks with lecture notes and margin drawings. At work, I might be answering the phone and dealing with whatever was on the other end, but I was also exiting through my right hand via a pencil and a doodle pad. Serving two masters, so to speak.

Now this does happen: The minute I step over the threshold of my studio it is like going through one of the science fiction space portals where, on entering, your molecules get disintegrated and then re-assembled on the other side. Once through the door, I remember exactly where I was in the work, as if a mental bookmark had been left. I tune into the thoughts left floating in the air like an enticing aroma.

That's reacting to the surroundings; a response to creative stimulus.

But to actually invent a place to go to in your mind--a Receiving Station--that you conjure up and then go through the door and close it? Wow.

King's thinking plan is almost a sort of self-hypnosis. His physical surroundings may be an isolated desk somewhere in his home where he can go and shut the door, but his mental location is a special place where he puts on different clothes, gets out his spyglass, tunes his ears for dialog and feels the wind in his face.

Wow, again.

I'm finding this book really interesting.........

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