Monday, 10 September 2012

Thinking Time and Solutions...

When I'm writing anything, thinking time is essential.

I don't have a contract requiring a book a year, so if I hit a brick wall in my novel, I can do something else while my subconscious works on the issue.

But when you have a theme, and a short deadline for submission, as in a flash or short story competition, I find my creative brain freezes.

Sometimes it will unlock and I get the writing needed done. Other times it melts a bit but still leaves a big frozen chunk in the middle and little progress is made- like the short story I needed last week.

So I've been considering methods to help me improve how many pieces I submit- to a good standard of writing, of course.

I have a few competition that I want to enter with specific themes- with deadlines from the end of this month onward.
So I've decided to try writing the theme words on a bit of card or coloured paper, and pining them to the small cork board I have resting against the wall- it's just within eyesight on my desk; so I'll see if keeping the words within sight assists the creative process.

I won't have the excuse that I forgot the details, or the date it's needed by, if it's always there.

And it should ensure that the thinking time is taking place, even if I am doing something else.

If you have any methods you find particularly useful, it would be interesting to hear them.


Writer Pat Newcombe said...

I have to think for quite a while before starting certain projects. It's like the ideas are cooking in my brain and sooner or later it will all coalesce together - hopefully. But as you say short stuff can be a problem and sometimes I just sit down and begin and once I start typing the ideas just flow. That often happens when I am writing articles for my blog. But, alas, it's not always that easy...

Anonymous said...

Maybe avoid the creative brain freeze by thinking in big circles, flitting from idea to idea first. Don't spend too much time with any one of them, see what each idea has to offer, gradually hone the list and once you've hit gold, only then fill in the details.
It's like the way to approach life drawing - you sketch first to get your composition and then add the light and shade.
Pictures, words, they're pretty much the same, although the current exchange rate is 1x picture to a thousand words.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I really love deadlines, Carol, as it gets me writing instead of procrastinating! I keep a notebook (or scraps of paper) with any ideas that come to mind - when I look through it eventually, one idea usually demands more attention. But my problem is having too many different ideas on the go!

Anonymous said...

If I'm writing a story with a theme for a competition, I sit down with a notebook and brainstorm. I write down anything that comes into my head for that theme and eventually a story idea will grow.

Carolb said...

We seem to have the same approach to it, Pat.

Kantsboy, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. You're right about the drawing comparison.

I know what you mean about the too many ideas aspect, Rosemary. And there's nothing better than a deadline to get the brain and fingers working.

Sally, I'm going to try your suggestion as it may assist my keeping the subject in sight.

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

Keith Havers said...

What about mind maps and flow writing?

Keith Havers said...

What about mind maps and flow writing?