The ecstatic intellect

So I’m at the stage of writing where my mind is being blown all the time. I don’t know if this is part of most people’s process or if it’s just me. I don’t recall reading about it anywhere, and I don’t think I’ve written about it before, but it always happens. Even with Shadow Scale, though the going was slow, I arrived eventually at this state, where ideas come gushing out of the ground and everything feels connected and meaningful and pertinent.

It’s not my writing that’s amazing me, just so we’re clear. The writing is going fine, but I can tell I’m going to have to re-order a bunch of stuff in ways that aren’t clear to me yet. I actively set that worry aside and try to have faith that it will come. It always does; it always has. My brain is smarter than I am.

No, the mind-blowing comes at me from everywhere else. I walk down the street with my mind open and trawling like a fishnet, snatching remarkable and unexpected fish out of the air. Or else I’m a snowball rolling downhill, picking up glittering and relevant detritus along the way. Or I’m a barometer for ideas, water rising in the storm glass, jittering like a beating heart.

None of those analogies quite capture it. Everything I read, everything I hear and see, everything enters and forms part of the answer, whispers of what my next book is really about. I feel like it’s raining answers, jewel-bright and glorious.

Random book on aging your husband recommends? Relevant. Song you encounter by chance? Vitally important. Conversation with a friend over lunch? Crucial (ye gods, what if it had never happened?)

It an exhilaration very like dancing. The wildest part is that it’s thinking that gets me there. Thinking should not feel like this — how can it feel like anything at all? Maybe I mean intuition. Maybe I’m just a hammer suddenly noticing all the nails.

Either way, this is my favourite place to be, consumed with ideas. Aflame with them.

The wheel will turn, and I’ll be back to banging my head against the table soon enough. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy dancing to the peculiar music of my thoughts.

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