My brain, though, is always a storm. There are stories in there, sure. There are character voices. There are streets I want readers to walk down, corners I want them to look around. There are memories I will mine, bits of dialogue waiting to be spoken.
There's also a whole lot of other in there. Work deadlines. Revision deadlines. Publicity commitments. Social commitments. Animals needing tended, bills needing paid, friends needing attended to, stress needing managed, life needing lived. Some days it feels impossible to figure out how to harness the high winds and the coming rain of story.
For me, the trick is to show up at the same time every day. The weather will differ, but as long as I'm there, I have the chance of capturing that first gust of wind, that first turn of phrase, the first few drops of rain that make a mark on an empty page. When the sky seems clear of story, I don't brainstorm about what to write. I write. Sometimes I write about the bills. About the animals. The weather. But if I put words on paper long enough, the wind shifts, and a story blows in.