Thursday, June 3, 2010

Brain Drain


Do you store your ideas in your head instead of on the page? Are you a fanatic about getting it all figured out before tapping on the keyboard, or picking up the pen or pencil? Sometimes that's great, but chances are you'll suffer brain drain and forget one of the main points you wanted to remember.

I used to do that for my picture books until I realized once I started actually writing, more ideas developed than I could possibly create and hold inside my brain. The details, verbs, characters and activities came alive. One time I sat down, planning to write a panda book, and out came a book about an ostrich and a hummingbird. Not exactly what I anticipated. And yet it was so much fun to find flying birds in my head, and they weren't bats in my belfry!

Now when I have an idea, I create a folder for it and put inside a one page document with a title (I usually start that way) and any details I think about for that particular story or article. It can be character names, activities, geographic areas, nutty nuggets of storyline, colors I want to mention, relatives to ridicule or even dog breeds and names. Now when I daydream about my writing I don't suffer brain drain from overloaded wires and circuits!

In fact, sometimes I pull up the document, read it over, and type more on it before I even write one sentence related to the story. So if you brain is drained, strained or mainly on the plain in Spain, type a document to store your ideas and add to it when the creative muse is playing inside your cranium. You'll be glad you did. Just get them on the page! And do it now, before they go outside to play without you!

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