Friday, July 17, 2015

Writing: How to choose an idea and go forward

It's the creative's curse. You have so many ideas in your head for a story that you just can't sort them by thinking. So what do you do? I had this awesome question recently and realized I needed to put it here to help others. Here's my suggestion.

When you have so many ideas crashing around in your head that you can't sort them just with thought along, you need some writer's tools to help you out.

Get a notebook and label it "For Writing Ideas Only". Feel free to decorate it, color on the cover, whatever. But inside, is only for your writing ideas. Keep it where you can always find it.

Make a list. Jot notes on each idea as you remember them. You don't have to make it long winded half story length stuff, just notes. That way, when you do pick a project and complete it, you can come back to your notes and pick another one.

But how do you choose? That's on you. There is really no best way to choose what your first project is going to be. All of them are likely begging you in your head to be completed. You will have to make your choice and then focus. Yes, focus. One of the hardest things a creative can try to do. But do it you must in order to make any headway on that first project or any after it.

One thing I suggest, after you've brainstormed all those ideas and written them down; is to put them away and leave them be for a few days. Come back and look them over later after writing them down. You may find new perspective on your ideas that needed time to gestate. You may find the act of writing something down as a resolve to the mind storm. You've given your ideas a kind of tangibility that allows them to be dealt with easier.

Will this make the ideas stop whirling through your head? Um, no. I'm afraid there is no cure for that. You can only hope to organize them a little and find a path to move ahead.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your notebook and get to jotting down those ideas!
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