I’m posting this on Thursday this week, instead of Friday, where in the US it is Thanksgiving. So happy Thanksgiving to the US folks. For those readers who like notebooks, check out the picture of this notebook that my wife got me as part of my birthday gift last week. It has the brainsplats blog on it. I thought it was a good idea. Now it just needs notes in it. More on that below.
- I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I take it in turns on alternating nights to read books to my son, and put him to bed. He used to be slightly fussy getting to sleep, because of his age, so we would hang round in his room for a little while whilst he settled down. I would use this time, lets say 10 minutes, or a little longer, to think about story ideas, that I would then note down after I left the room. One time I had an idea for a short story collection with a common theme. I thought about different story ideas, using this time, over a month, and now I have notes enough for a whole book. When I write the stories of course. This time worked well. Now though, my son is settling down a lot quicker, so I am out of there a lot quicker. Perhaps I still need to find this 10 minutes elsewhere.
- Slightly related to this point is choosing a spare five minutes during the day. Just find a quiet place. Decide whether to write down blog ideas, perhaps of a certain kind, for me like “Monday Mess”, or something else such as story ideas. Just put down what you can, and only for the five minutes. Again the focus is interesting and I seem to be able to get things down. Not all of it useful, but most of it is. Maybe ideas are floating round my head waiting for the focus opportunity, I don’t know, but either way it seems to work.
- I sometimes do 100 word fiction, such as “Jack and the beanstalk revised“, where I will get a prompt about something, maybe an idea I’ve been thinking a little about, may not. Then I will take a max of thirty minutes to write something in the word limit, with no revision allowed after the time limit. Sometimes I may have an idea of what I am wanting to write about in terms of the actual mini story, other times no idea. But the time limit brings focus and I can normally get something out, which is coherent and sometimes interesting. It is as though, with the time limit, I can find an angle or a way to investigate
So I suppose what I am getting at here is that ideas freely float round our heads. Especially those of us who consider ourselves creative in some way. Getting the ideas out and turning them into something can be difficult. A little focus for a short period of time, can actually go a long way. Maybe I can add some of these notes in my new notebook.
What focus exercises do you do, if any, to work on ideas?
Lexicon word of the day: ethnography.