Shannon Stacey

Pondering the Mind of the Non-Writer

Recently the husband brought up once again the time I slid my ATV into the snowbank and I had to explain once again I must have gotten too comfortable, forgot I was on snow and was writing dialogue in my head.

Then suddenly I wondered—and asked him—what do people who don’t write think about all the time?

When I’m driving, showering, weeding, riding my ATV, washing my dishes, folding laundry—you get the picture—I’m working out plot holes, testing dialogue, developing story ideas, “screening” scenes like movies, discarding names, and so on.

His answer: “I dunno…stuff, I guess.”


Is he thinking about work? Remodeling the bathroom? What he wants for supper? Balancing his checkbook? The movie we watched the night before?

This might be my stupidest blog entry ever, but I can’t help but wonder what somebody who doesn’t write would think about while riding the trails for three hours.

8 comments to “Pondering the Mind of the Non-Writer”

  1. Annmarie
      · May 21st, 2008 at 7:58 pm · Link

    I day dream. You know. I fantasize. About stuff.

    For example, when I am sweeping, I wonder what the little spiders call my broom. Is it a natural disaster to their webs or is it an act of terrorism.

    While I am cleaning the kitchen, I pretend that I am cleaning up after a unit of SEALs that visit me after a long time OCONUS.

    When I ride my bike, I pretend that I am in training for the Olympics.

    When I am tracking cows, I ponder Rabbits. Do they have a Rabbit Mini Mart?

    When I’m driving I may fantasize about being a reclusive song writer, being a music star or a million other things.

  2. Jaci Burton
      · May 21st, 2008 at 7:59 pm · Link

    Well since I’m a writer my answer is the same as yours. So I asked my husband. His answer:

    Sex, motorcycle riding, sex, work projects, sex, home projects and sex.

    Pretty much what I thought he’d say :roll:

  3. Shannon
      · May 21st, 2008 at 9:05 pm · Link

    So basically Annmarie and I think about the same things. I just write them down when I get home. :thumb:

    For example, when I am sweeping, I wonder what the little spiders call my broom. Is it a natural disaster to their webs or is it an act of terrorism.

    I’m not going to admit to how much thought I gave this. But I would imagine if the webs get caught up in the act of general sweeping, it would be like getting sideswiped by a hurricane. But if you go in with those little out out out jabs, that would probably be terrorism. But considering how they probably just sigh and then get right back to building, more natural disaster. If they saw it as terrorism, they’d retaliate by spinning webs over your toilet seat.

    I asked MY husband if he thought about sex while out riding the trails…

    “I try not to because it could seriously hurt if I hit a waterbar.”

    (Waterbar = small ditch dug across trail to aid water direction)


  4. Shannon
      · May 22nd, 2008 at 9:27 am · Link

    I asked my children that question this morning:

    Short Kid: I sing and pretend the fish cops are chasing us, like Need for Speed. :eyebrow:

    Tall Kid: Don’t hit a tree…don’t hit a tree… :hide:

  5. Melani Blazer
      · May 22nd, 2008 at 9:34 am · Link

    Well, I’ll admit I don’t always get to do dialogue in my head. Sometimes I’m running through the list of things I have to do, to pay, to process. Right now, with the houe remodel in full swing, completely unorganized and random, I’m wondering if I should just rent a hotel for the ….summer until it’s done.

    Its when I truly get a chance to relax (I’m sooooooooo envious of you getting hours on a trail…) that I can think about what I’m writing, hash out what has happened, what needs to happen and make sure I’m not leaving my characters behind. They even talk to me, witty, clever dialogue, but mostly that’s in the shower, while I’m driving or at work, or even at that stage between awake and asleep and I cannot write it down, and of course, can’t remember it next morning either.

    My question is….how the heck to you remember it all to write it down later?

  6. Charlene
      · May 22nd, 2008 at 10:34 am · Link

    My husband knows better than to ask how or why I wasn’t paying attention. He just says, “Go write a book.” :roll:

    He, by the way, thinks about programming problems.

  7. Bev Stephans
      · May 22nd, 2008 at 5:49 pm · Link

    Many times I think about the book I’m currently reading. I wonder how it’s going to end and I wonder what the hero/heroine will do to get there. Sometimes, I wonder if I will finish the book I’m currently reading because it is such a turkey.

  8. Annmarie
      · May 23rd, 2008 at 10:07 pm · Link

    See. If I were a writer, people wouldn’t think I was so weird. They’d say, “Well, you know she IS a writer.” Since I’m NOT a writer they say, “She is SUCH a WEIRDO! WHO thinks about stuff like that?”

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