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Friday, January 18, 2013

Brainstorming Fail

Shockingly enough, not all of my brainstorming sessions result in usable ideas. In fact, the majority of them don't!

Since I want to have three solid plots in my head before February, I've been spending a lot of aimless, brain-run-free time. I must admit, normally I'm oozing with ideas. At any given moment, I might have the next two books all plotted out in my head, but last fall the well started running dry, and I was too tired and mentally defeated to look for fresh water.

Though the ideas weren't leaping into my brain like salmon on a run, I never worried I wouldn't be able to come up with a good story line...eventually. So it meant a slew of brainstorming sessions chasing bunnies into dead ends. They eventually led me to two solid book concepts. I'm still working on a third. 

I recorded one such failed session and am sharing it with you.




Creativity isn't a lightbulb that can burn out. It may dim, yes, but if you keep at it, you can nurture the smallest idea into a unique plot. Don't wait for inspiration to strike! Play with ideas, try them on, ask questions, throw away the generic ones, nurture the mediocre ones, and treasure the terrific ones!

Do you make time for brainstorming sessions? Have you ever recorded yourself, either via webcam, video recorder, or a voice recorder? Did it help?

Have an amazing weekend!

20 comments:

  1. I love your videos! So cute! I'm having a brainstorming fail right this very second. I was going so well in my manuscript and all the sudden I screeched to a halt. Ugh! I need some serious brainstorming solutions right now.

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    1. Thanks, Julie! Oh, I have had a few days of those lately--ugh!! You'll get through it... :)

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  2. Oh, Jill, I feel your pain! I'm trying to come up with an idea for book #3 right now and I have...bupkis.

    Yep, zip, nada, nyet. Sigh. I sure hope you're right about the well not running dry...

    Have a great weekend,
    Kathy

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    1. Oh, no, Kathy! Sometimes the well feels really dry, doesn't it? You're not alone. I know you'll get the perfect idea!

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  3. LOL! A good outfit is important. :-)
    Brainstorming sessions don't work for me. It's like my brain shuts off when I TRY too hard. LOL
    I usually have to trick my brain and just "think" about stuff when I'm walking or driving or in the shower. Then write them down later.

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    1. So true, Jennifer, about the cute outfit and getting ideas on walks and in the shower! Right on!

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  4. All the time--I make time for them all the time. Brainstorming is crack.

    No matter what keep the names you brainstorm. I've heard a few and they are keepers! ;-)

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    1. "Brainstorming is crack." My new catchphrase--ha, ha!! Thanks--Mr. Boobypants will stay!! :)

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  5. The best brainstorming session I've ever had was with my critique partner. 3 hours on the phone, baby! And worth every minute. :) Good idea to video yourself, though.

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    1. Brainstorming with other people is the best!! Our RWA group hosts an annual brainstorming retreat in a cottage by the lake. It's an amazing time!! I had to miss last year since I was at ACFW conference, but I'm hoping to got this year. :)

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  6. LOL! I use the CATCH app to do voice recordings. You can use hashtags so when you want to find what you've brainstormed, it makes it easier.

    Sometimes my ideas come like Jennifer's while driving. I don't do initial book ideas by brainstorming, they just pop in my head. My brainstorming sessions come when I try to flesh out the plot. Will it work or not?

    Loved your video. You're so adorable! :) And hilarious!

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    1. Ooo, smart! A lot of ideas come to me when I'm driving too. I used to keep a notebook in the car to jot them down when I parked, but my handwriting was so bad, I couldn't read them anyway! Sad!!

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  7. So true--sometimes brainstormed ideas are duds. Good reminder to keep at it!

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    1. For me, many times they are duds!! Ha! Thanks, Elizabeth!

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  8. Loved your video, Jill! :)

    It's almost impossible to brainstorm something that hasn't been done before, but I think the key is to put our own twist on it. Some might be duds, but then again, some might turn out to be the next great thing. Remember The Help (for one)? Racial inequality has been written about countless times over the years, but the fabulous story Kathryn Stockett wove struck the nerve that caused the whole world to sit up and take notice--again. Annnd it garnered some Oscar nods when her book was made into a movie. All because of a familiar tale written with a unique thumbprint!

    Happy Friday (and Happy Brainstorming!)

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    1. I completely agree, Cynthia--none of my stories are "new" but they are all fresh since I wrote them! Great point!!

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  9. I don't usually have to brain storm, because anytime I'm not writing, my brain is storming me with things it wants written. The sad part is that once I actually try to flesh out the storms they aren't all that good and I have to keep plugging away at my WIP.

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    1. Oh, I've had times like that too--all of my ideas seem like "the one." But when I go into them more, I'm like, hmm...maybe I got overly excited for not much? :)

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  10. I've had more than a few brainstorm failures. :)

    One of my stepsons likes to say that Thomas Edison had a lot of failures before inventing the lightbulb.

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    1. Very true, Susan! I've been to Henry Ford's Greenfield Village several times, and my favorite section is Thomas Edison's Menlo Park. Some of Edison's actual buildings were tore down and rebuilt at the Village. It's so insipiring to walk through and see all of the innovations. Motivation!!

      Here's a link if you're interested in it-- http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/edison/#lab

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