From Scott Ginsberg’s various articles on writing, I have re-discovered and re-engaged with a very basic writing tip – Writing Things Down.
Before I start talking more about this re-discovery, I want to give credit to Lisa of Wrightstuff who introduced me to Ginsberg a while back. And just like Lisa, though I nodded my head on quite a few of Ginsberg's advice, I find him, at times, repetitive.
Let me put it this way, how many time you get excited when you see article tilted: 32 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block? Personally, once or twice are enough. But Ginsberg is religious and totally loyal to his “9 ways”, “13 daily disciplines”and “26 essentials”.
O.K. back to the subject matter. Ginsberg is all about “capture”. It could be of writing things down, taking photos, tear-off magazines pages etc. But it all comes down to the basic: write everything down. Don’t let anything skip your mind. He had mentioned “capture” so many times in his various articles that I began to think about my own (to use his word) “capture”.
I did write things down.
(Ginsberg: Write everything down.)
(Ginsberg: Write everything down!)
(Ginsberg: Write EVERYTHING down!)
That’s what I mean. Yes, I did write everything down but did I write down every idea, every odd phrase, every one-liner, and every quote that came to my mind? No, I didn’t!
What I did was to write down those which I believed was good. This meant that I have killed an idea before it even became an idea.
To make sure I fully understood the ramification of “capture”, I began an experiment. For 4-days, I wrote down (as much as I physically could) every idea, every odd phrase, every one-liner, every quote that came to my mind. And do you know what I find out?
1) The more I “captured” them, the more they came to me.
2) I had more story ideas in one day than I could possibly have in a month’s time!
3) At first glance, these “captives” had nothing in common, but when I deliberately mixed them together; they opened up to further new ideas and new solutions from each other.
4) But the most amazing thing I found about “writing everything down” was that I became alive again. All these ideas, phrases, one-liners and quotes awoke my curiosity to my surroundings, to my mind and to my creativity. They energised me and brought me heaps of laughter.
I’m now a total convert to writing EVERYTHING down. I urge you, fellow creatives (writers and non-writers alike) write (sketch, draw, record) everything down. It’s a real kick to creativity and you’ll be amazed what you pick up along the road.