|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Share My Brainstorming Process
Today's forecast, light. Followed by increasing darkness later in the day with general darkness overnight.
(Before we really get going on the topic I'd like to put in a plug for a young writer and speaker named Jeff Goins. Jeff speaks regularly at Writer's Conferences and is a wealth of practical tips and motivational common sense. If you're not already familiar with him you can check him out at Jeff Goins Writer . It will be worth your trip.)
Okay, the subject is my own personal thunderclap of revelation before the torrent of words! I'll let you in on something, I have brainstormed...formally...kind of...but the truth of the matter is I don't remember a time when I was not churning and burning. Honestly, even as a child I was constantly zipping along in a sort of stream of consciousness flow of ideas and questions. To the adult world this was either a marvel or annoyance (the former if you were just visiting, the latter if you had to live with me).
I've held a number of jobs and professions that required a high level of problem solving. I've also worked in several media, techniques, and genres in the visual and literary arts. All of this has a tendency to flow over and through me as a sort of image driven stew. For the most part this is subconscious but there will be a word, or phrase, an image or something in my environment that will grab my attention and a coherent line of thought will take hold.
ALARM!!! That's when I have to either; a) Go grab a notebook and pen and write, sketch or note some mnemonic that will keep the idea alive until later (I again call your attention to the OLD GUY in the picture...The gray matter is not as sticky as it once was, gang) or, b) I will begin to recite the lines I want to write, or describe the image I need to create, over and over until I'm fairly sure it's not going to disappear in the gases it materialized from. This can draw all kinds of queer stares and reactions, "Poor old bastard's talkin' to himself a mile a minute over there, Marge!" I will sometimes record snippets on my phone if I'm just inconveniently far from my notebooks or the idea isn't ready to go beyond the catchy phrase stage.
There are times when I sit down and intentionally push the envelope. Looking for a story line, trying to wrangle a better transition or progression, or when I'm photo walking and using the camera to capture scenery and settings...I've found that I start thinking the plot while I'm getting the pictures (Get the picture?) and this becomes a wandering storm that I can put words to later when I review the images. This is also something I'll do for first drafts of prose or poetry...Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!...sorting things out into usable grammar, spelling and syntax is for later. The ideas are only visitors, if not paid attention to they'll just get up and leave.
So there you pretty much have it. I really don't try to formalize or codify it that much. It comes when it wants, I listen and take notes as fast as I can and later I go to work. The first part is like critical angle skiing...Don't fall down, you'll die!...The latter is Sisyphus, rolling that damned rock up the hill! Over and over and over.
Accepting short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Nope, still no pay, just glorious exposure! You can send your work to me via e-mail at email@example.com. Authors retain all rights. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog. There are gadgets for that on the right side of this page. I love the company and it helps with the search engine ranking. Comments, critiques, and questions are always answered in as timely a manner as I can manage between my day job, writing, studies, blah, blah, blah. There's a form at the bottom of the page for your use.
In the meantime, remember...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis