Saturday, October 29, 2011

Drawn and Quartered

For those of you that don't know, the act of drawing and quartering was one of the most gruesome and painful ways to be killed--and it still is. Your limbs would be tied to four horses and they would then run away from you--and then you died, in quarters.

No, I haven't been drawn and quartered--but it got your attention, didn't it? No, this is about reigning in the over-creative mind. I recently, you see, had a small series of epiphanies about various things that I should--and will--write. The problem is that I don't really have anything more than bare concepts for more than one plot.

So I won't. It seems, to a lot, of beginning writers, a simply uncontrolable flow of creativity and so they never write anything. Tragic--it really is.

Studies show (follow me through on this one--it turns out in the end) that the human mind actually absorbs information and functions more smoothly if allowed to run other issues in the background instead of in the o=forefront. That's why you'll be more likely to have a flash of inspiration soaping yourself in the shower than focusing intently on your plot block for three days.

So, how does this relate to reigning in creativity? Simple--you have to work on your most formed idea, and just let the other ones stew--NaNoWriMo, by the way, is perfect for this, because it forces you to put everything but your current project on that back burner. Going back to the drawn and quartered concept--when you have multiple ideas going on and you're affording attention to each and every one, the only place you're going to end up is dead--creatively speaking, at least. But, if three of the four ideas/horses are left on their own to roam about, you get dragged on for a bit and then you climb up the rope and ride that idea/horse into the proverbial sunset. The other ideas/horses won't just vanish while you do this--you'll come back to find them overfed, compliant, and ready to run again.

So, in short (you'll hate me for this)--you actually have to write.

Take care,


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