Most people think like this:
B&W B&WB&W B&W B&WB&WB&W B&WB&WB&WB&WB&W
But writers think like this:
We can’t help ourselves.
While driving to work I think about imaginary characters, or the tarp in the back of the truck in front of me that looks like there’s a body beneath it, or the street sign I just passed that was called “Bread and Milk.”
I don’t think about paying the bills, or going to the supermarket, or if the kitchen floor needs to be waxed. Normal humdrum stuff doesn’t get caught in my brain.
“How come my brain doesn’t work like yours?” you may ask. “Mine isn’t equipped to think in bizarro writer mode.”
That’s where you’re wrong, my B&W thinking friend. It’s like what Glinda the Good Witch told Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz, “You had the ability to get home all along.”
Which incidentally pissed me off that she waited until the end to tell Dorothy that.
You, my B&W thinking friend, just need to start looking at the world in a different way.
Turn off the practical humdrum switch in your brain that remains in upright “normal” position, comforted by numbers and lists and repetitive functions that cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
And start thinking out of your skull while driving to work. Think about that weird clerk with the crooked nose and pink framed glasses who just handed you your prescription at the drug store. Was she human or goblin?
Start playing the “what if” game that writers love to play. What if the clerk gulped down a bunch of different colored pills while the pharmacist was on the phone, and she turned into a goblin?
What if my husband was captured by aliens while he was in the bathroom and that’s really a doppelganger husband standing there tucking his shirt into his pants?
What if a card-carrying birder shoots a cat with a paint ball gun because the cat kills the birds in his yard? Oh, that really happened.
Yes, my B&W thinking friend. You, too, can be as weird as I am.
But use the bizarro superpower thinking sparingly at first, especially while driving. Some B&W thinkers have been known to overuse the superpower before becoming familiar with it.
And they’ve ended up in a padded room thinking about that word math problem they got wrong on a test in fifth grade: “what time will the train arrive in Los Angeles if it leaves New York City at 3 a.m., stops in Chicago for thirty minutes, where you have lunch at a hoagie shop; the train breaks down for 45 minutes because there was a screw loose, then the conductor passes out for an hour from the stench of onions wafting from your breath …”
That’s why I never think about numbers. They can make you crazy.
Are you a right brain or left brain thinker? Or does your brain straddle both hemispheres?