Now some of you might be thinking after that last post… Why is a writer posting about being active? I thought this was a writing blog. Well, I’ll tell you.
Being a writer, a creative person, has an awful lot to do with being active. Sorry to say it. But I’m not. Both at the same time. I know. Confusing. I’m not sorry because without being active, writing becomes approximately 99.99% harder.
As a writer going into the adolescence of his journey – six years and counting – I have come to the conclusion that writers before me and sometimes I myself find it tempting to do what early writers do – ask far more than enough questions about ideas and how to get them and which ones are good and all that jazz.
Want ideas? Get creative. Don’t know how? Get active. If you already know about being active (see last post), then read this post. It’s about creativity.
- Do something ridiculous.
For me, whenever I do something goofy, ridiculous, or anything that falls under the thesaurus listings of those words, I find myself mentally free of being practical. To be clear, I’ll just say that I feel a whole lot more open to crazy ideas if I do something crazy myself.
- Do something easy.
I know my last post had this one in it as well, but it’s a beautiful web of interconnectivity. It’s just a creative and simple way to let go of the grip your left brain has on your right brain.
- Get away from screens.
Seriously. Those things kill creativity. Get real. Get moving. Get active. Seeing the beautiful interconnectivity?
- Play a game.
Is there an element in the game that is related to an idea your rolling over in your mind? Is there a story in one of the elements of the game? Do players make moves and strategies that you aren’t expecting (most likely)? Is there a character in there? A motive? A goal?
- Let your mind wander.
Stare out the window and just think. Think about anything. Create a mental mind map, literally, and just jump around from idea pad to idea pad. Think of ways you would change your life and turn into a story form. Or something. Go somewhere in your mind and then try to bring it back to your writing.
- Engage in wordless entertainment.
Being a writer, an individual of words, a communicator, can make it exhausting to have to listen to more words and the like when away from the work. No wonder a lot of us writers are introverted weirdos.
- Delve into your notebook of ideas and recordings.
Assuming you already have one. Any ideas in your journal will work. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be an “idea journal” with stickers all over the outside. It can be a roll of paper towels (I tried it and for some reason, it really messes with your brain and things are easier to say on paper towels). Hey, a paper towel is still paper. Just let it all out and then let it simmer between the covers. Then come back a few weeks later and let the aromas of your life after having written all those thoughts and ideas down soak it all back up.
- Don’t worry about rules or getting your ideas right or make them have to make sense.
You can always, if you think you can, brainstorm the idea more and combine it with another idea and build, shape, and morph the not-so-awesome ideas into characters, plot points, settings, set-piece scenes, or whatever.
Are you seeing that picture? The one with the sofa? The absolute ridiculousness of it? Well, it’s not ridiculous. It’s pretty funny. But it’s not ridiculous. To some, it’s not ridiculous. To others, it’s the epitome of stupid. Or to others, it’s just “cute”. Do you have any ideas like this? Perhaps in that journal of yours?
- Obtain ecstasy.
Serve others. Go out of your way to make someone’s day. The smiles and the love bring about more love and the creative juices just start flowing. Writing is creating. Creation is an act of love. So, when we spread love around in ways besides writing, it doesn’t matter how the effect turns out with the preliminary love – we still get giddy and we want to write and now we have a wonderful experience to write about. At least, that’ll get us going in the right direction if we’re stuck. Whether it be in the creative process, or an actual piece of writing.
- Try not to “have” or “get” ideas.
The best ideas come when you’re just driving along the road, reading the paper, waking up, clocking out of work, letting a mad customer fume at about how good of a job you’re doing, watching the dog sniff in all the air. It is in those moments, when we least expect it, that the best ideas come. Because the best ideas don’t start out as “ideas”. They start out as feelings. As emotions. As viewpoints. Don’t write a character to be funny because they gripe about their job all the time just because you can. Experience what people, places, or situations are like. Live!