"Ooh, it looks like this is a weekly thing! Or at least he said it would be; it will take more than just two weeks to get me to believe that this is going to be a thing. After all, you can't just say it will be and have people accept it right away."
Well, one step at a time, as they say. This week I want to talk about minds.
Our brains make us who we are; in all likelihood our brains are who we are. All of the procrastination and productivity, logic and error, fight or flight, it all comes from one place. We always underestimate the power of these beautiful machines. People sell their minds short in creativity and capacity because it has trouble connecting the parts of a math problem or remembering dates. Remembering dates is not nearly a thing to judge a mind by - some of the greatest worlds ever created were dreamed and forgotten by someone who just kept on living their lives the next day, not having the faintest idea what beauty had bloomed and faded. We can create while we are awake as well as asleep, but the brain's natural response when prompted to carry out ideas and resolutions it itself made the night before is reluctance. This is the bane of writers, students, artists, professionals, and every human. Procrastination is everywhere, but why?
(If you are firmly rooted in reality,feel free to skip this paragraph. Lots of minds creating minds and rubbish like that.)
The great thing about writing is what amazing tricks you can get your brain to do without even realizing how cool they are. A friend of mine wrote a scene recently in which a character that his brain had previously created and stored sat in an empty living room. The action in the scene did not take place in this fictional, made-up house, however, but in a five room flat containing four other characters. These characters, and their surroundings, were all constructs of the original character's mind, and the events of the scene took place mostly inside of his head. Now there are many stories with complex characters and complex narration, but it is rare to really step outside of that idea and state it as simply as possible; it becomes something more than just the simple statement 'complex narration.' A good author's mind can imagine and develop a character, construct him or her's appearance, and further imagine what they would say in a given situation or when interacting with other different characters. That author can then go into that created character's mind and think for it, thinking in a way can be completely separate from the way that they personally think, and even split it's thoughts among mental puppets that the character itself created! The fact that something can create something else that appears similarly, but the magic comes when it can develop something that can develop other things like itself. There are supposed limits, but it seems that those limits are imposed by the part of the brain attached to reality, set there to prevent the creative part from entrenching deep enough into itself that it cannot come back out. What if, in the minds of those who pushed past and entrenched themselves, there were people talking and interacting all around, people writing books and creating other characters complex enough to think and start creating for themselves? What can our brains really do? I do not know, as I only have my own mind to study and it's projections of the minds of those around me, which could be wildly inaccurate; it is still an interesting question to think about.
So, returning to more common ground, Why the procrastination? Why do we 'only use 10% of our brains?'
The first question is easier to answer, and is important to understand the first; the simple answer is that that idea is not true. Different parts of the brain have different purposes and are more active at different times, and the entirety of the brain is always active, even if parts are operating at extremely low levels. The periods of inactivity, though - and I am no neuroscience, many of these ideas are logical speculation besides the part about brain activity - seem to point to a possible reason for procrastination and the need to 'waste' time to counterbalance work. The brain needs to relax. It needs to lower activity in parts and cycle where actual processing is engaged so that it can rest itself and heal itself. People who remember everything that they have ever heard or have other cognitive 'super powers' often have to have some process of external processing; the person I mentioned that could remember everything had to constantly write down what she remembered or it would build and cause her mind to break down. The periods of rest and reasonable procrastination give your mind time to analyse things that it has previously processed, and are thus very important, but too much inactivity wastes the potential of the brain and makes it used to inactivity and more likely to crave it. Balancing rest and movement is as essential in creativity as it is in work and school, only there they call it stress management. Apply that to creativity and you will never have to worry about the unfinished Great American Novel staring you in the face for years on end. The worlds in your head will be able to go out to others for them to experience. It is one of the greatest callings of humanity, and from those worlds humanity can construct the ideal that it is always working towards.