When you begin a new project, where do the ideas come from? Are you in the shower? Cooking dinner? Enjoying a soy latte at your local coffee shop? Or are you like me- driving along the pacific highway cruising at a hundred and ten when something along the roadway catches your eye and instantly you no longer see the road you see an idea in your head.
What gets your mind going? Is it music? Is it nature? Is it other artists? Do you start new projects because of the ideas that jump into your head or do you sit down and purposefully try to create something new? The beginning has to start somewhere. For me it is one of the hardest to write. Why do you think it has taken me so long to write this post? I’m writing about getting started! Where do I start??
Once you get going sometimes it can be difficult to stop- suddenly it’s 4am and you’ve filled a spiral bound notebook and even though you haven’t done any kind of dancing that requires spinning around on your head (not that your caffeine / red wine distorted memory can tell anyway) your hair resembles some kind of birds nest. But its those first words, where to begin? What helps you sort through the rubbish in your mind… do you just… start writing?
This right here is pretty much how my rubbish starts. Right here, what’s happening right now. Just getting the words out, one by one, in all their unedited glory.
As I mentioned I am usually driving along when an idea hits, and I am so grateful for several of the best inventions ever – iPhones, headphones, and voice-recording Evernote. So I just speak candidly to capture the idea. I hate listening to my voice later, but it does the trick. Because as I speak the first ideas, I am capturing the essense of what I was thinking and feeling at the time. Let’s face it – it’s a little hard to write ideas down on the highway, and by the time I get home (or get to where ever I’m going) the idea is gone, or it is nowhere near the same and I’ve lost the essense.
I do also have notepads strewn about everywhere, and occasionally sit down with one and scribble what is in my head. I save photo’s and images from the web that give me “feeling”. That stir emotion in me for some reason. Music is also a big one for me, especially if a song is tied to my emotions, listening to it can bring back that emotion which can help me write.
Knowledge and information from other writers – reading other blogs and tips on how other writer’s like to be inspired. Reading their books, talking to them on twitter, reading their posts on their blogs and Facebook, all gives you ideas if you are open to letting them in.
At the end of the day the most important thing I have learned so far is that it’s not so much HOW you start but just the fact that you DO. Letting go of fear and worrying about what “people might think” (a big one for me), stop making excuses for why you can’t pick up a pen or turn on your computer or talk into Evernote…. and just write. Write everyday, even if no one ever reads it. Writing because you want to and because you enjoy it is for me the best reason to write anyway.
You might write 20 pages of rubbish to find that one line of potential. But you will never find that potential if you never write a word.