Writing is a very organic process to me. It’s something that grows out of the fertile soil of your imagination from a seed that was planted by any number of things. Perhaps a singular idea or multiple parts of several ideas have bonded together in your mind and formed the stalk of the story that you endeavor to share with the world. And why shouldn’t you share the fruits of your imagination? You should. Or perhaps you have no idea how to express the abundance of fruit your brain orchard yields. Well that problem brings me to the point of today’s blog. Sometimes what you need to do is focus your creative flow. There are times when you can have too many ideas at once and it will overwhelm you and ruin a crop of viably potential material. I have one suggestion to help with this and one exercise that I find to be most helpful in guiding my creativity when it begins to overflow.
First I’ll go with my suggestion. As a writer you should always have some form of writing utensil or note taking device at hand; be it a pad and pen, an iPhone, a laptop, a digital voice recorder, or the palm of your hand (Note: you will want to transfer the contents of your palm to paper soon). I myself always have pen and paper handy and have a notebook at home beside my bed. I try to transfer any notes on scraps of paper or notes kept anywhere else into this notebook at the end of the night. It gives me the flexibility to not worry about all these ideas I have and worry about them disappearing so I don’t have to rush to get through with the project I’m working on. I’ve also found that this is a great way to keep ideas that you would have otherwise dismissed as not your type, sometimes reading your notes or listening to your concept (if you choose voice recording) can spark an entirely new concept and method for the story to progress and grow. So this is my suggestion try to keep your ideas written down so your crop of stories does not all drown.
The exercise I promised is one that I also have employed. If you feel that you can’t concentrate on any thoughts for long, you need to channel it down to one thing. Create a floodgate for the dam holding back the creativity reservoir. Find one thing, be it an item, or a routine you have (waking up, eating lunch, your midday nap) and try to write it to your best ability and see where it takes you. I tried this only a few weeks ago, writing about waking up in the morning and now I’m off on an adventure with new characters in a new town that I would have never known if I hadn’t took a chance on waking up. So give it a try, even if you don’t need the floodgate it can be a fun exercise. One it will make you actually try and remember which is good for you. It will also teach you a valuable lesson, in order to write one needs to observe. Characters, locations, events, are all easier to write about and bring to life when they are real. Plus it gives you opportunity to let the story guide you and not vice versa.
So if you feel overwhelmed by your own creative genius, I hope one of these two techniques or both can help you as you harvest a bumper crop of stories.