What is my biggest struggle when it comes to writing? On many day’s, my biggest struggle is coming up with an idea. To overcome it, I usually either (1) brainstorm my ideas by making a list; (2) set my egg time for thirty minutes while writing the first words popping into my mind; or (3) I go for a drive to clear my head.
Brainstorming my ideas helps a great deal for overcoming the obstacle of writing. Many times, I can’t think of anything to write about. So I started doing what Lise Cartwright calls “brain dump”. I make a list of phrases. In doing so, I get motivated to grow and evolve the piece from there. It could either be a poem, a work of nonfiction, or fiction.
I also look back on other pieces I’ve already completed, and look for a phrase which catches my eye, and take it from there. The one phrase I select makes me think. So many words and ideas pop into my mind. I either take the particular phrase, and put it in the beginning of the story in the form of a dialogue. I have the opening character mention the phrase in the story, and take the conversation and theme of the story from there. It opens up the story to so many possibilities.
My story, Transylvania System 3, derived from a brain dump. It helped me recall an experience I had with my siblings when we were children back during our early elementary school years. Boredom set in for us, because we had to stay indoors on a rainy day. So, I had the idea to co-write a skit or play with my brothers. I came up with the name Transylvania System 3. It grew into a science fiction piece. Basically, it’s a story about three children going on a space adventure through the use of their imaginations.
Another means for overcoming the obstacle of writing is through the use of an egg timer. I usually set it for thirty minutes. Doing so puts pressure on me to write, in the sense it motivates. The egg timer usually gets my adrenaline going. It’s such a rush. I’m compelled to write, because I’m competing against the clock. The goal is to see how many words I can compose within the given amount of time. Through doing so, I write whatever phrases come into my head; thus, imagining a conversation taking place between two to three characters, and build the plot from there. It compels me to write the story or chapter from start to finish.
Lastly, going for a drive helps me in overcoming my obstacle of writing. When I’m overwhelmed by the pressures of facing the blank screen or blank page, I know it’s time to stop what I’m doing, and recharge. I generally like to go out with my aunt and grandmother to one of our local stores to walk around for some exercise. Sometimes, we do some shopping, and sometimes we just like to browse. While walking around in the store, I not only clear my head, but it enables me to me alone with my thoughts. I become relaxed. As I become relaxed, ideas start pouring into my head.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015