Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ideas: Flowers of the Mind

An idea, when it pops in your head is very fragile. Much like the seeds of a flower. The seeds need nurturing and soil to grow into beautiful flowers, and so do ideas. At first, you need to plant your idea, and give it water and sunlight. You have to give it time to grow into a small sprout, then slowly it will become a flower. It takes time though.
When you have an idea, you need to ruminate over it. Don't go straight to your computer and write, just like you can't photograph a planted seed. There's no point. First, you have to think about it. Then, you start to build a library of images, sounds, words, smells and feelings around the idea. This feeds the idea, like water feeds your soon-to-be flower.
You find images and sounds or music that make you think of your idea, a possible story. You find quotes or poems that relate to your idea, and maybe even smells and textiles that suck you in to this growing idea. You may start to see the sprout, and feel the itch to write the whole story, watch it bloom, but not yet. Be patient.
Now that your sprout is getting stronger, you can start to put together small fragments. One sentence here and there, maybe a few words exchange by your characters. No more than a sentence. Anything that comes to mind, write it. Don't be afraid of the crazy ideas, the nonsensical things that your brain will make up; be open to all possibilities. Maybe your blue flower will turn out to be white, or green.
Then, you start to build the puzzle. Put those phrases in the order you like, that makes sense to you. At this point, your flower's bud is becoming visible, but still delicate. You must tread carefully. You can't let yourself go too fast, or you'll lose your flower. Once you have some sort of order to your story, you create an outline, whether detailed or not. By then, you are just dying to see this flower bloom. You feel like if you don't write it all down, you will explode.
Go ahead. Write. Let it bleed out from your fingertips, flood through the white pages until you have no more words to write. Until your flower is beautiful and strong. It may not be perfect, the way you imagined it, it never is, but at least now you have it, it's there. What you do with it after is another story.


  1. Emilie! What an interesting concept! It speaks to me. I often find that I write too quickly, as soon as something pops into my mind. Great reminder of what I SHOULD be doing, more often!

    1. I'm glad you like it! It was actually my Filmmaking professor who concretized this concept! I didn't realize I was actually already doing this until she really explained it!


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