Monday, August 24, 2009

Write Everything Down, I Mean It!

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.)

I did.

(Ginsberg: Write everything down!)

I did!

(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!

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.


Leone said...

Very interesting concept. Thanks for sharing it and I'm so glad it has worked for you. Take care.

WrightStuff said...

This is an exciting read and some great advice. Funnily enough I take more stock from getting this advice from you, rather than Scott. It sort of proves it works for us ordinary folks - rather than Mr Wear-a-Badge know-it-all. He does come across as rather cocky doesn't he! I'm gonna try this too - though I always seem to get good ideas in bed when I'm trying to sleep. I'm doing the Artist's Way - which I found about from the Scott post I pointed you to. Only on week 1 so far. I'll probably blog about it at some point.

WrightStuff said...

And, also meant to say, thanks for the link!!

Holly said...

Oh, Hybriddy!

This one made me laugh today. Glad to hear joy in your voice about writing once more.

Kim said...

Oh - you mean EVERYTHING!! Brilliant! Great post!

I have an award for you!

judiPatootie said...

I did that last week when I started my new Wreck This Journal.. he more i saw , and noted..the more I saw and noted!! but I get a bit carried away, cant fit my REAL life in when I do that!! I need a filter button!!
you have a really great post here! Thanks for sharing

Pamela said...

Fabulous advice, Hybrid! I tend to get my ideas while in the shower or on the bus to work and then don't have the equipment necessary to write them down. By the time I'm able to, they're gone, or not as full as what I originally thought. Writing EVERYTHING down could be the answer. When you say "killed an idea before it even became an idea," it reminds me that I shouldn't immediately discount things but look back at them later and I might find something great!

Thanks for an excellent post!

miruspeg said...

Your excitement shines through in this post and it made me grin wider than a Cheshire cat!

Truly, utterly delighted for you.

I will follow your lead and write EVERYTHING down.

Big hugs mate

Barbara/myth maker said...

Hmmm, this "capture" seems like a good idea. I will have to work on that! Thanks.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Leone,

Thanks for dropping by. Been missing you a bit ... :)

Hi Lisa,

Yes, SG is a bit cocky and half way through reading his other articles, I just tuned off! Hahaha! Glad you're doing the The Artist's Way. I did that a couple of years ago. It worked up to a certain extent only but the famous Morning Pages didn't work for me. Hope you get a better run with it. ;)

Hi Holly,

Glad I made you laugh! ;)

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the comment and the MeME award! You just made my day!!! Will write up the award post later this week.

Hi Judi,

Isn't that wonderful, the more we extend & expand our creativity, the more fun we have? Fantastic!

Hi Pamela,

Glad this one "captured" you! ;) Like you, I also got ideas in the shower. I'm now searching for waterproof pen and paper to avoid losing idea just because I don't have the writing tools with me.

Hi Peggy,

Happy that you're grinning ... and do let us know about your "captives". :)

Hi Barbara,

Try it and let us know how you find it! :)

THANKS EVERYONE ... You're all fantastic!!! :)