Posted by: michellemuldoon | September 17, 2010

It’s My Party And I’ll Write What I Want To

 

Friday and what am I posting about, a party. You’d think I’d grow out of it by now, but the truth is, I’m not talking about that kind of party, I’m referring to the idea that writing is as self-actualized as you can get. What you put on the page (at least until you option or sell) is what you want to. It’s a party for one and everyone invited shows up!

That’s  right, you get to choose the topic, the direction, the voice, and how satisfying or unsatisfying you want to make the conclusion. It’s your party and you’ll cry, scream, laugh, cringe and celebrate as much as you want to. This, in my opinion, makes the act of writing incredibly empowering. In a world where we have less and less control over what happens to us (the discussion regarding control being an illusion is an entirely different post), writing allows us to craft something, erase it, and then re-craft whatever we visualize. 

So, what’s my point? It’s this. There’s no excuse for saying, “I want to write but I don’t know what to write about.” (Do you like the clever tie-in to the last post?) 

If you have a party, do you not start with a party list of who you want to invite? (Just nod yes.) So, why don’t you start where I start, with a brainstorming list.  I have a list on my computer that I keep adding to. Wherever I go, I carry a little moleskin book I bought at the Austin Film Festival.  It’s adorable, with its cute little AFF typewriter logo imprinted on it. I nearly squealed with delight when I bought it, and if you know me, squealing is not the sound you’d ever expect to hear from me.

I put fresh ideas in it when I’m out and about, and then transfer the ideas to the computer list when I get home. Ideas can come from anywhere. I got a great one a month ago, when I was waiting for a flight. The guy sitting behind me at the gate said something to his wife and it was fricking brilliant! And yes, I’m advocating eavesdropping in public places.

You see, that guy sitting next to you at the coffee shop complaining about his life to the vase with the plastic flowers, while doing odd things with his hand in his pocket, might be worth listening to after all.

Now, this all sounds like a bit of a no-brainer, this idea of having a brainstorming list, but I know people who talk about it, and never do it.

So, what I’m saying is, if you’re going to have a party on the page, start with the invite list, and be aware that ideas come from the oddest places and the most unexpected encounters. Keep a pen and paper handy, and make sure you keep a master-brainstorming list. 

When the day comes that I sit in an office, and my initial pitch to an executive falls flat on its face (because his/hers is buried in the crackberry), and the dreaded question “What else do you have” comes up, I know my trusty little moleskin party list won’t let me down.

 There are ideas everywhere, and people really do say the darnedest things. Now, go get your party list started, will you! No one likes a blank page.

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