Now, this is a process I go through not just every March, but every time I start to work on a writing project. I think we all have a big pile of ideas flying around our brain, every one potentially a story. I have a small ledger's-worth of ideas for poems, stories, sketches, and other fine written works. Plenty of ideas just waiting to happen, but which one do I write about? Sometimes, we have such a logjam of ideas that we end up failing to create anything. I hope you can see where this is going.
When I am in this situation (which is just as much a curse as Writer's Block), I just turn it into my own form of March Madness. I write down the ideas that even remotely feel like I could do something with, and then I just pair them off. Then, one by one, I ask a simple question with each pair. "Which one moves me more?" The winner goes on, the loser waits for the next time I am stuck. And so it goes, me checking through each pairing and matching up the winners then knocking them out until one remains. Then, that one by definition is the one I can write about.
Now, in a way, this is not winning in the spirit of March Madness. This is actually a process of forcing myself to make decisions. When I have so many ideas that I can't write about just one, usually the problem is that I can't focus enough to write on just one thing. By breaking things down and ruling out different ideas, I am making little decisions and building myself up for something more decisive. Ultimately, the result isn't the important part. The fact of the matter is that all the ideas are workable; the problem is just me not choosing one. And through this process of deciding, I end up able to focus, to choose, and to write.
Now, I do enjoy March Madness and my brackets, but it's not everyone's thing. As I prepare myself for major disappointment, I know that the underlying process has a lot more functionality than just a basketball thing. It's a writing tool too, and that's what really counts. (That, and actually winning the office pool)
Post a Comment