I love a good brainstorm! This is when all your creative energies surface together and crash into your imagination. It allows you to test your imagination’s limits–and stretch it in ways you had not thought about before.
A brainstorm is a writer’s best friend.
With any storm, they seem to come out of nowhere, and are more powerful than thought. You must remember that you wield the wind and rains which come in these storms. They should never overwhelm you, startle you or through you off balance!
Brainstorming is different from “The Flow” because the source is different. Brainstorming is internal while “The Flow” is external. Brainstorms come out of the blue, while “The Flow” has to be experienced, tapped into even. It’s a current more, while a brainstorm is a circuit. Embrace that and channel it.
Through this month, I have done all I can in this space to remind you of the power you have and can harness to go in the world and create. I hope you do so. -JBHarris
Think if your newest project like a candle. With that image, remember this. For a candle to do all that it must, it must realize that it is a candle: not a door, window or can opener. It is a candle. So, light it. Let me explain how.
The Spark. This is the beginning of the work, this is where you start to write. This is where the ‘new thing’ has taken shape. You have garnered up enough moxie to write. Regardless of genre, regardless of length of story, you are writing, you are beginning. You are beginning! For this, it might seem the most impossible–but the scariest is always right before you begin. The spark–your spark–is the beginning.
The Fire. Oh! This is when you have embarked on the journey to write. And continue writing! This is where the power of time and imagination converge to allow you to create universes, people, theories and anything your mind demands! The beautiful thing about all this? Fire can be channeled! You can push it as hard, as fast, and as deep as you want to! Write while the motivation is there! Write while the iron is hot! Write when you cannot contain the words, so they can spill onto the page! Write to contain the fire! The fire is what you control.
The Light. This is what happens when the work is done. When you have completed your draft, and you can take a deep breath. You now have proof of what you have carried on the inside of your imagination in a physical form. You will be holding the thing which you thought was on only a dream. You can see it. You can print it. You can submit it. And for that, this is a reason to be proud. Light is the evidence a fire is burning.
You, my dearest Oracles, are the possessor of all these elements. You. No one else. As I leave you for this month of April, I remind you of the words of Audre Lorde.
I am fond of saying that every idea is a spark. From that ‘spark’ anything can be added to make a fire. That fire, that heat, that light–this is the what we chase, my Oracles. This fire is what we create and chase and feed! Don’t dismiss that.
I need you to under as a writer to remember one thing: you control the fire! You control what it burns, how hot it burns, how long it burns! You control this! Meaning: what do you need to start? What new thing are you shying away from due to the heat which would follow?
Those things need to be explored. They need to be examined. They need to be found! They need to be written about. Start a fire, my Oracles. Start it, and be warmed by it. From that warmth, set the world ablaze!
Being a writer is one of thee most maddening things I have ever done! For every project that I want to do, there are 4 others that spring up. They seduce me from the current work, and then I leave them–jilted and guilty –to return to the first love. Determined to finish what I started.
This is what writers do though, dear ones! We create! And in the fury of creating, we have these side loves that call to us. These things we start when the first love (read: current work) has us in a funky place with no way out. I mean, Octavia Butler wrote Fledgling as a side project because the other work she was writing was ‘too much’! Wri
Think about your word choice: what you say, how you say it.
Remember they story–good or ill–belongs to you. All words done or crafted by you.
Writing is equal parts bravery and calamity! There is portion of you which will have to be brave enough to verbally admit what you have only whispered. Then there is the personal shock (aka ‘the calamity’) which happens when you begin to write something–you become shocked at how this is coming together.
Be ruthless with the talent, my fellow Oracles. There is a power in it. What power is that you ask? The power in knowing what you have on the inside of you is itching to come through your hands, because it has been boiling your head so long.
It is–it will be–scary and exhilarating and the journey is yours.
The words will never just appear out of the ether. You have to chase them. You may have to fight for them. You may even have to chase their shadows from dreams you have. But be relentless, dear Oracles.
The words are there–but you may have to reach a little longer or further to get them.