When a writer’s mind wanders… so does his body

I had an errand to run at a nearby grocery store, a short walk from my office. During lunch, I headed down into the mall below my office building to make my way to the store. Almost from the moment I left my office, my mind was working its way around some plot points in a story, trying to see it from all sides and figure out the best way to move forward with it. I must have been particularly focused on the subject because instead of ending up at the grocery store, I found myself standing in front of my parked car.

I stood there for a moment, puzzled. I could not recall why I had come out to my car.

That’s when I remembered that I had been intending to go to the grocery store. My mind occupied, my body must have used its muscle memory to take me on the same walk I take when I leave the office every evening. But man, I have no memory of the walk once I left the building. I was just there in front of my car.

And, alas, I made no real progress on the story plot either.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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