Writing about Writing Vol. 6


“Controlled Chaos”

     Ask me where anything in my house is, I will take you right to it.  You’d never know that to SEE it though.  It looks like some slapdash assemblage of stuff, but it really does make sense when I can explain it.
My creative process is quite similar…

     Imagine you sit down at your computer every morning, open FIVE instances of MS Word, then come back to each every time an idea strikes you, and scribble some notes on it.  Now imagine if you will you could somehow do this without having to necessarily sit down to the computer and type these things out.
I do this shit in my head.
Back in late July/early August, I had an idea for True Story© that I had been actively working on for a couple of weeks.  That idea is STILL in my drafts box.  I cut my grass one Monday and thought up, from start to finish, the Marlon story.  I went out into the yard with the first story in my mind and repeated lines to it as I worked on my grass, but the Cheaters/Marlon/decoy idea crept in instead.  I will revolve, jumping from idea to idea to idea until one begins to develop in detail and THAT is the one I sit down and go in on.  By the time I finished my yard that day, I had introduction, reason, negotiation, apex and resolution planned.  Hell, I even had the dialog pretty much worked out.  It was ready to write, I Rain Manned it when I sat down the next day.

     An important thing to consider is to NOT throw your ideas away.  Like I said, the original idea is titled, partially written and chilling in my drafts box.  I think of it often in the rotisserie of things that run through my head, sometimes I have even come back to it and pecked out a few more lines to it since then.  It might go up at any moment between now and my funeral, or it might never.  What is most important is to not throw it away.

     Some ideas never make it to a draft, some never make it to an actual computer – as in I drafted an email from my phone and it is still THERE but never made the blog dashboard – and some never make it either place because I have no attention span and a 30-minute-each-way (45-50 when I have Ava) commute.  That could be problematic and if I hadn’t been raised in the 80s, I might have a prescription for that shit.
[Phlip note: holy shit, I have been using ADHD to my advantage?!!?]


     The takeaway here is to make what you can of how you can arrange your work and don’t marry your attention to just one project at a time unless it is of THAT much importance in the moment.  I bet if I plugged in my old computer, I would find a graveyard of old ideas that I could pick up and finish or rewrite.  The process of remaining consistently productive for me is keeping several irons in the fire.  Try it on and see if it works for you.
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