What Will You Write Today ?

I find it an odd question. My brain goes through 100000s of ideas every day – I think !, I’ve never actually counted them. It’s a lot anyway.

So why look for ideas outside yourself ? I think we learn that our own ideas aren’t good enough. There’s also the principle of running with the heard, fitting in.

Neither of these things are a bad thing. But overused they can become a burden for a writer.

There’s also the fear of being judged. It’s a valid fear I wouldn’t abandon it, learn to work with it. Jack Sutter wrote a nice piece on this – “Don’t Be So Careful”

Writers will always have constraints on what they can and can’t write. That’s life, deal with it, get used to it.

DonCharisma.org-Imagine-Mural-Closeup

Looking Inside For Ideas

Look inside yourself for ideas of what to write. And write them. If you’re certain you like what you’ve written then publish, if not then leave it in draft and come back to it later.

Imagination is key. Imagination is a muscle, needs exercise. Luckily it’s possible to exercise this muscle doing just about anything at the same time. Even whilst we’re looking outside for ideas.

Imagination isn’t the preserve of fiction or creative writers either. Einstein from what I understand used his own imagination to create his very very technical ideas. One of his methods was to sleep or snooze on it. He’d get stuck on something he was working on. Go and have a nap. And hey presto he’d wake up with the answer. Perhaps because when he’s resting his whole brain is available to work on it. Or it may be that people have “anti-imagination” thinking going on when they’re awake. Either way, sleep, and relaxed states of being can be great places to come up with ideas.

When I want to learn about something I’m very unfamiliar with I often go to YouTube, especially where what I’m trying to learn is visual. I remember finding one video, in which the guy was showing how to design a logo in Adobe Illustrator. It was for a commercial project, he had a name for the logo already assigned by his client. It was memorable to me, because he’d actually detailed his creative process. It went something like this :

  • Get some old magazines and look for designs or images that inspire
  • Collect the ideas together
  • Put on music on iPod, and start to draw out by hand, sketch out his idea roughly
  • Scan or digital photograph into Illustrator
  • Trace the sketch in Illustrator. Refine the curves, add colour. Refine, refine, refine.
  • Publish/deliver to client

This is a creative process of a graphic designer making a logo. The process for creating a piece of writing isn’t that disimilar. Of note is that the individual “artist” needs to develop their own process. This is an individual and personal thing, which the individual needs to develop for themselves, in their own experience. It doesn’t hurt to have a head start, like the outline above.

Personally when I write a blog post, my process is similar to the above. Sometimes it’s entirely in my head, in my imagination. I’ll often use my imagination as the creative drawing board on which to play with the ideas, prior to starting my writing (or graphic design).

As one improves, just think of a title, the seed of an idea. Then sit down with my WordPress editor, and start typing. Get the ideas down. Then keep editing and refining until it’s “finished”.

Looking for ideas outside is a great place to start. Magazines, newspapers, books, Google. But over time I think the creative person starts to use their own imagination more and more, and rely less and less on external input.

Creative Self-Sufficiency

From time to time I see my ideas on other people’s blogs. Initially it’s a little annoying, feels like they’ve stolen my idea. When I’ve calmed myself down and looked at the funny side it’s two-fold :

  • There’s something very empowering in seeing your own idea reused, it’s a bit like seeing your child becoming successful at something. Gives me a sense of pride.
  • My evil sense of humour knows that the other person can’t think of their own ideas, so I have a little bwahahaha chuckle to myself about it. Keep my hand in on the dark side, so to speak.

We all copy others to a certain extent, it’s normal – We absorb so many ideas, it’s impossible to tell exactly the origin, for most people. I often use ideas from other people’s blogs. So it’d be “pot calling the kettle black” if I got up in arms about it. What’s not cool is copying verbatim and passing it off as one’s own. It’s very good idea to cite inspirations and sources -other bloggers 99 times out of 100 will be pleased that you gave credit, and were inspired by their ideas.

Eventually a creative person needs to master their own imagination, and create by themselves without external input. This is the final destination. Being able to do it on your own, is incredibly empowering, and MUST be the goal of anyone who creates anything. With the caveat that collaborative creating is highly recommended, and can accelerate creativity. Bottom line, learn to be self-sufficient, not rely on others, but be able to work in partnership too. Flexibility and collaboration.

Just a little creative writing for a Thursday 😀 Typos I charge extra for !

Cheers

Don


Resources & Sources

Imagine Photo – morgueFile.com


Notes for commenters:

Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma



51 thoughts on “What Will You Write Today ?

  1. Hi,
    1. As a new blogger, it sounds like I could learn from you. I do have a question. Like you describe, I have so many ideas for new blog posts! How many is a “good” amount? Someone said it depends on how many ideas I have, but I don’t want to overwhelm my readers. Thanks for the advice and for following my blog! Janice

    1. Hey Janice, you’re welcome …

      Provided the ideas are congruent with your blog’s theme and what it’s about, and you’re comfortable sharing them in public, then use all of them … I think you’ll find it’s experimentation anyway, some people will connect with one’s ideas others not and vice versa – you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time … also I think to cater for a wide audience then it’s a good idea to limit the length of posts word wise … so ideas can be split into smaller sub-ideas, series etc … I personally am unlikely to read anything longer than about 500 words, unless I really need to, ie it’s for work or it’s something that I’m fascinated by … doesn’t mean to say there isn’t a place for longer posts, but realise that some people won’t read much more than the title, others will skim, others will just read intros/outros … the ones who read 2000-3000 words in a blog post word for word are the exception rather than the rule in my experience … don’t let that dishearten, that knowledge helps one adapt to cater for the majority 😀

      Lest not forget the promotional side of things which you ought to be investing some time in, commenting on other’s blogs, following others and participating in opportunities to share your work elsewhere … things like interviews, blog awards etc are a good way to share yourself and your work 😀

  2. I used to struggle with what to write about. I would put all this pressure on myself to construct an essay on big story arc’s in my life. I have hundreds of unfinished memoirs that I intend to get back to one day. Then, presto, I realized that I don’t need all this pressure to write about the big things in my life…because my life is made up of small idiosyncratic moments that hold their own weight. Giving a voice to those moments has helped me appreciate the little moments in my life…even if I finish writing about it later…I can always go back to the memory of that moment.

  3. Just leafing through my reader…liked this. I can’t help but turn inward for ideas. They just keep coming.

    And I also do the same with YouTube. I’ve fixed my washer, stove, fridge, some car issues, and many other things I didn’t have a clue about through tutorials.

  4. I’m with Sharon – for me the the internalization of all that I see, hear, feel, know, read, etc is the critical first step in imagination. I find that different subjects make internal links in different ways and those links can be translated to other subjects to both fire the imagination and find hidden truths. For instance, Don, the example of Einstein that you used – for relativity he used an image (note the similarity to “imagination”) of a large heavy sphere sitting on a flat sheet of rubber. The sphere will sink into the rubber and dimple it. He used that image to imagine the effect of a large mass (say a planet) on the space/time continuum. From that he evolved the theories that lead to the development of the theory of relativity. Or in Sharon’s case, gems are known to be formed under conditioins if great heat and pressure. What better place than the gut of a fire breathing dragon? Cross-over concepts – and delightful, I must add. I do wonder what metals produce what gems and if the digestive enzymes of the individual dragons play a part in the output? Ha! I’m Hooked. Thanks Don for the valuable input, I would just suggest that the greater the input, the greater the opportunities for imagination to work.

  5. I was worry if someone take my idea and then write about it, but you really do my day when you write the reasons which is good that it happens, specially for the second reason (buahahahaha) lol. Thanks 🙂

  6. I think I’ve said it before, but when I get on my bike or walk Bob, the space let’s my mind blow wide open and creativity just flies in – or out as the case may be! It’s all in there, just needs the space and time to be allowed out 🙂

  7. Great advice! I always have my notebook…it’s not the same as my tablet or laptop for some reason…so it’s my security blanket I carry with me always. Prompts can stir up ideas and reading of course…frankly WP has such amazing talent, I don’t have to go far. When my muse is sulking, I always have tons of photos I have taken almost every day (just in case)…nothing of beauty like yours but they stimulate my muse. You have a fabulous blog!

  8. I often write about something that inspires me. It may relate to soothing I am reading or heard about. Often it is from something that has happened through my day. For instance, I did a blog on soap because I got it into my eyes while showering Lol

  9. Really liked this. ^_^ I’ve come to realise I hardly ever get good creative ideas when I sit down and force myself to write. I get them at the gym or as I’m lying wide awake and can’t sleep, haha.

  10. I find that sometimes when I write something that has popped into my head, it is not popular. Other times it is. There are days I struggle with creativity and days that it comes quite quickly. I have found that during my times of meditation something always comes.
    Today however, I think I’ll just go with photos 🙂

  11. When I’m stuck, I don’t use any word processors; instead I start writing in my diary. When I get stuck again, I take a nap or a walk. 😀 Or simply relax by spending time with family and friends, sometimes discussing the idea that I’m working on. 🙂

  12. We are the sum of our experiences. Anything our imagination creates was birthed from our reality. How can the dragons in my current WIP be birthed from my experience? There are no dragons. But I’ve watched movies and read books. I like the way some of them handle aspects and hate other things. So my brain stews all of this and out comes something “new.”
    Of course, I won’t guarantee that another person didn’t have dragons in clans or have them eating metal and pooping gems. In reality, there is nothing new under the sun – just a concept expounded upon or viewed from a different angle.
    Imagination is awesome! Now, back to my dragons.

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