"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Art of Chaos

People often ask me how I overcome writer's block. The answer is simple: I make an art of my chaos.

Some days I'm overwhelmed with numerous story ideas. Lines or scenes just pop into my head and I jot them down as quickly as I can get pen and paper. I also keep a record of many dreams. My husband is constantly telling me I have the most detailed dreams he's ever heard.

I keep all of these thoughts in a filing system. In short, I have an idea file to pool from on the days I experience a block and the imagination falls stagnant. Usually, a lack of time rather than a lack of ideas becomes my problem.

Invariably, people then want to know how to make an idea file. It's actually quite simple. First, decide where you are going to keep all those wonderful ideas organized. I like to write most of my ideas with pen and paper, so I keep mine in a filing cabinet. If you prefer to type all of yours on the computer, just create a folder on the desktop labeled "Idea File".

Second, label your dividers in the filing cabinet (or create individual folders inside your "Idea File" Icon) with the different type ideas you want to create. Example: I actually started with a "Fiction" drawer, "Nonfiction" drawer and a "Poetry" drawer. I have since added "Biographical" which includes interviews and such for articles and books I work on. I also have a drawer for "Photography".

Next, decide how you want each of those sections divided. I like to write in a variety of styles so in my fiction drawer I have further divisions of "Fantasy", "Murdery/Mystery", "Romance", "Western" and so on. I have done this for each drawer. Every section contains snipets of lines or scenes I've written, photos that inspire me or even interesting facts I've printed from the internet.

Now you have a stash of creativity and thought provoking catalyst to aide you on those days of writer's block. We all have them, but instead of stopping us cold, we can refer back to our files when we need a new or fresh idea. You'll always have a direction and interest since you created the system in the first place. Thus, you can effectively make art out of your own chaos.

Writing: I have not had time to accomplish much writing this week. Four Halloween parties down and it's only Thursday!

Reading: I am reading Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb. I picked it up at the city library book sale. So far, it's pretty good. It reminds me of the movie Copycat with Sigourney Weaver.
Goal: Make a "To Do List" for next month. November is National Novel Writing month. I should at least dust off the books I finished writing and muster up enough courage to submit them!:-)

1 comment:

Kittie Howard said...

Thank you for stopping by and following me, Sylvia. I appreciate it! I couldn't get to you from your avatar so googled you. Wow! You've got an impressive resume. You've done so much you've motivated me! I'm delighted to follow you.