Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sometimes, Ideas are Born, not Made

A lot of people believe that they can get the answers to their questions if they think about them long enough. They also believe that they can get everything that they want if they work long and hard enough. The problem with both these methods of thinking is that thinking too much and working too much will tire you out, leaving you little time to think and work.

The same goes for writing. Sometimes, thinking of your plot too much simply gets you too deeply embedded in it that you tire yourself out. Think of over-thinking as being stuck in quicksand: the more you move, the deeper you’ll sink. The more you think, the less you’ll accomplish. The remedy is simple: step away. Some ideas are born, not made.

You will get ideas in the strangest situations: you might be mowing your lawn, washing your dishes, cleaning your house out, shopping for clothes, or taking a bath. Ideas will come to you. You need to be patient. If you force yourself to write, you don’t only ruin your writing; you ruin writing for yourself. Let writing be your outlet, however painful it might be to write. Don’t ruin the writing experience by turning it into duty.

Some ideas come from working hard, but don’t overdo your writing or your thinking. When all else fails, get some sleep, step away, and stop. When the ideas come, you’ll find yourself writing once again.

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