March 14, 2013 3 Comments
While everyone else around you seems to be excelling in their craft, awards are given to others, your neighbors hit the jackpot…
Come on, I’m not the only one. You’ve surely been there, right?
A hellish place for sure. It’s worse than that moment you’re about to start the first sentence on a blank page. It’s miles before you ever even get to that point. Only in a galaxy far, far away do you feel your idea – your one perfect, once-in-a-lifetime, crowd-pleasing idea – awaits.
It’s out there. You might feel like Horton standing at the edge of the field of pink clovers looking for that one tiny speck that’s out there somewhere calling your name.
“We are here, we are here, we are here…”
Sometimes you can just feel it, can’t you?
You know how I find my ideas? It’s embarrassing, and no one has ever seen me do it, except Sarabeth when I thought I was alone or I got carried away.
I talk out loud.
And I’ve yelled.
It’s humbling, but true. I imagine myself standing before the heads of Universal or Disney Studios and I’ve got five minutes (I’m generous) to pitch them my idea.
So I yell, I act, I pitch like a storyboard artist convincing the director that my idea is the only thing that will work. I talk aloud about something that I believe in.
I might not yet have an idea to believe in, but I believe that I will find one.
I’ve found several this way.
When I worked in retail, I would often disappear to the shipping room when it was empty and I would plot my book out loud, pacing, lost in my imagination.
“So this guy Robbie,” I would say, “he wants to be a good father and husband, like most men do. That’s relatable. But something keeps him from that. I want there to be action, but not much action happens in today’s reality… so he finds a fantasy world! In a… wardrobe! No, on a star! No. In a… in a…” I glance around the shipping room and I notice that I’m surrounded by – “In a box!”
Thus, The Man in the Box was born.
Working from home makes it really easy to do this on a regular basis. And if you are stuck in a creative rut, I encourage you to give this a try. Crank up some Fun. or Owl City, or Delta Rae on the ipad and dance.
Yes. Just start dancing. Let your body go. It sounds zen-like, but just release the stress of everyday life. The last thing you want weighing you down when you’re trying to be creative is the rock-hard facts of life that your readers are looking to escape from.
And then ask yourself later, What did I talk about? Anything interesting? Jot it down.
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This is just something that happens to work for me. Please share with us some interesting ways you make creative breakthroughs in the comments below.