Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for IDEAS

    Here's the thing about ideas: when I'm deep into a project, the ideas materialize like popcorn. Not ideas about my project, mind you, but ideas for other things I should be writing. I wish I were more prolific, able to flesh them out before they fade away or become less interesting, but I'm a slow writer.  
     I love what Ray Bradbury has to say about ideas: 'If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed quickly, to trap them before they escape.'
    Along with reading, a writer benefits from experiences as well. Try new foods, visit out-of-the-way places (museums, national parks, country backroads instead of the interstate), or take a class in something out of your comfort level (bellydancing! hypnotherapy! medieval combat!). An idea for your next main character or setting may be as close as your morning newspaper or the community education catalog.
   Keep your eyes open and the pens and laptops ready!
     
    

16 comments:

  1. I like your tips for eliciting ideas. When I'm deep in a writing project, I'd sometimes get an idea for something else so it takes some discipline for me to stay focused on my current project. But I remember to write down the ideas I get so I don't lose them.

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    1. I write them down, too. My problem is keeping the enthusiasm high on something I might have thought about weeks/months ago. I have to actually write something other than the 'idea': a piece of dialogue, a few paragraphs, or partial chapter, etc. It's hard to capture that mood I felt if I only write a summary of an idea.

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  2. Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite writers!! Yeah, I get the distractions but manage to keep them to a minimum while writing on my current project. I always remind myself there's time to explore them later.

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    1. Yeah, he's one of mine, too. Just picked up an copy of Dandelion Wine at a second-hand bookstore, though I'll admit I bought it more for all the interesting notations the previous owner had scribbled in the margins than for the book itself.

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  3. That is such a great quote! Excuse me while I copy it in longhand into my special writer notebook filled with inspirational writing quotes.

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    1. Glad to help you add to that notebook, Karen!

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  4. Amazing what sparks an idea....! Then comes the hard part - making it more than just an 'idea'! ;-)

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

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    1. Exactly! I wonder how many ideas Mr. Bradbury had to discard for lack of time!

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  5. awesome quote and advice! love travel more now for info building!

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  6. I just read that Bradbury quote elsewhere yesterday. It is a good one, for sure! And new experiences always make for inspiration. Julia Cameron calls them artist dates, and I've got one planned for this afternoon =)

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    1. Artist dates are the best! Hope you blog about yours!

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  7. I now keep a journal on my nightstand in case I get an idea from a dream--which I often do. With the journal handy, now I can actually remember them. :)

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    1. So many people record their dreams. I've always wished I could. I'm too heavy of a sleeper to remember anything!

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  8. Great post. That is funny how the ideas come when you're in the middle of something else. Here from A-Z.

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    1. Yeah, it never fails. I'm convinced it's my passive-aggressive response to procrastinating. Welcome! Glad you stopped by.

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