I don’t know about you, but I have a monkey mind. If you’ve known me for awhile, you’ll have seen the monkey mind in action. A random thought will manifest itself into words, and I’ll leave you scratching your head thinking, “Where did that come from?” My husband tends to sigh and say, “What in the heck are you talking about?”
The term “monkey mind” has both negative and positive denotations. In Buddhist philosophy, it can mean unsettled or confused, but it can also mean fanciful or whimsical. I’m easily distracted which is why I rely on a quiet house to help me achieve a quiet mind when I write. I can’t abide music or a television blaring in the background because I will jump from where I should be focusing (my novel or short story) to whatever shiny object attracts the monkey.
One of the ways I’ve learned to focus and hone my attention skills is through spinning. The craft, not the exercise on a bike like a hamster since I’m a firm believer if my legs work that hard they need to carry my body from Point A to Point B. Spinning a beautiful yarn requires your complete attention. Look away and oops! you have an uneven mess. It focus on the fleece and brainstorm ideas for a story. Whenever I’m stuck in a manuscript, I find a walk in nature or a short session with the spinning wheel refreshes my mind and energizes me for the next word sprint.
Do you have a monkey mind? If so, what do you to calm and focus your thoughts?