Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

I imagine that many bloggers would consider themselves writers. I haven’t posted any of my real writing on here, but I suppose that writing a blog post is similar to writing a story (be it a short story, a novel, a poem, etc.)

I consider myself a writer but, as I’ve said before, it’s less than a profession but more than a hobby. However, I, like most writers, often encounter problems while writing. We’re all familiar with writer’s block. I refuse to believe there is a writer who has never experienced writer’s block. That writer does not exist.

I, myself, suffer from what I have dubbed “Flighting Idea Syndrome.” Many of you may also suffer from this debilitating disease without even knowing it. Flighting Idea Syndrome (FIS) can be characterized by the sufferer exhibiting symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). You can never stick with one idea for very long. Before you’ve had a chance to accomplish much of anything, a new, superior idea has infiltrated your mind. There’s no going back.

Maybe you know the feeling: You come up with a brand new idea. It’s like a present. It reminds me of the Dancin’ Debbie doll I got from my parents for Christmas when I was 6. I kept seeing Debbie on TV, and I had been begging for one of my own. I just knew I was getting it and I couldn’t wait. Then, on that fateful Christmas morning, there it was. Dancin’ Debbie in all her glory. I feverishly unwrapped the package, while I sent my mom to look for AA batteries. I finally had a Dancin’ Debbie doll. I immediately discarded the instructions and took Debbie’s assembly into my questionably capable hands. Debbie was ready to dance.

Normally, one of two things happens at this stage of the story.

Option 1Dancin’ Debbie is an immediate disappointment. I should’ve gotten the Powderpuff Girls wristwatch. Luckily my birthday is soon.
Option 2Dancin’ Debbie makes all my dreams come true. She is everything I ever dreamed of and more. 2 days later, I’m really tired of hearing Debbie say, “c’mon, lets groove!”

[Spoiler Alert: As for Dancin’ Debbie, she reached the same fate as many a toy… That’s right. Option 2. But I got a Powderpuff Girls watch and a Totally Hair Barbie for my birthday.]

Now I’ll rephrase these options in terms of writing:

Option 1: You think you have a really great idea. You sit down to write. You stare at the wall for 15 minutes, then you finally put pen to paper. You begin writing your name, surrounding it with hearts, swirls, and lots of fun doodles. Okay, obviously this is distracting. You should use your laptop. You know, your laptop. The place where Facebook lives. And Pinterest. And the most deadly distraction of them all: Netflix. After binge watching an entire season of Scandal, you’re feeling inspired. That blank page is really daunting. What was your idea again? Oh, yeah. Would you look at the time? It’s half past “you’re hungry.” Okay, you go get a hot pocket, and then you will write for 1 hour. No excuses. Should you get a ham and cheese hot pocket or should you go for meatball and mozzarella? Is that even a question? Obviously ham and cheese. Good thing it only takes a hot pocket two minutes to cook! You’re ready to start writing. Go ahead and set a timer. One hour. Yes, here we go. Yep, it’s happening. You are writing. Pens and paper and words, it’s all happening right before your very eyes. Your idea isn’t flourishing as you’d expected. Come to think of it, your idea is kind of lame. Really, though. Sigh. You finally get the mindset to sit down and do something with your life. You choose that moment to determine that your idea is actually crap. You should’ve used the two minutes your hot pocket was cooking to perfection to make sure your idea didn’t suck. And if you decided that it did, you could cook another hot pocket and come up with a better idea while that one cooks. But you didn’t. Your paper now looks like this:

the sbsp

(That’s writer’s block with a side of procrastination. Back to the drawing board.)

Option 2: There you are, minding your own business when it happens. You have an epiphany. This beautiful idea is allowing you inside its imaginative world. You’ve never seen anything like it! You begin writing feverishly. This is it. You expand on your idea, everything is falling together quite nicely. You’re already envisioning how your photo will look above the title “New York Times Best Selling Author.” All of a sudden you’re paralyzed. An idea, a brand new idea, has overtaken you. You have been taken prisoner by the new idea. You tell your old idea that you’ll write when you can, and you’re whisked away by your brand new idea. You’ve put your memories of your old idea into the darkest recesses of your mind, and you are completely smitten with your new idea. Your brand new idea loves you back, but it has this feeling that you’re not devoted to it; you’ll abandon it the second that another shiny, new idea makes its way into your sights. Sure enough, your new idea was right. Idea #2 is left broken-hearted, attending therapy sessions every other Wednesday to cope with losing you. Your idea still loves you but, emotionally, this is pretty much where you are at this point in your relationship with idea #2:

not important to huey

You decide to go online to search for new ideas to meet. IdeaMingle.com. Hmm. Maybe you’ll check this page out. Success stories, yes! Stacey, 29 writes: “My idea and I have been together for 3 years, thanks to IdeaMingle.com!” Marshall, 42 also shares his experience: “I owe everything to IdeaMingle.com! My idea and I have been together for 6 novels now. We’re even expecting a novella next month! Thanks IdeaMingle!” Your eyes grow wide with excitement, as you imagine what your own success story will look like. You and your idea on your anniversary, still very much in love, with your 2 beautiful novels. Well if Stacey and Marshall did it, so should you! You create a profile and begin browsing. Before you know it, you have 14 idea matches! You’re meeting #6 for coffee on Thursday at 5:00. #9 is taking you to see a play tomorrow night. #13 canceled on you. Schedule conflicts. But it’s okay, because you have #2, who took you out last night to wine and dine its way into your next novel.

If you haven’t figured out, this is option 2. A severe case of Flighting Idea Syndrome. You would think a lot of ideas would be great, so many to choose from, but it’s clearly stressing you out. You can’t devote your attention to one single idea; instead you’re dividing yourself between them, and now no one’s happy.

Both of these conditions are incredibly hard to overcome. Which is why I come to you all for advice. Have any of you ever dealt with either of these issues? (AKA you have or you’re a liar.) If so, comment and let me know! Tell me what helped you overcome writer’s block or FIS. Thanks for reading.

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I stumbled across this excerpt from a commencement speech that actor Jim Carrey gave at Maharishi University of Management. You can find the speech in its entirety here, but what Carrey says in this excerpt is so profound. He talks about why you should go after your dreams, and how his father inspired him to do so.

Carrey’s father, instead of embracing his talent as a comedian, decided to take a safer course and become an accountant. Later on, his father ended up losing his accounting job, leaving his family to do whatever they could to survive. So Jim Carrey brings up a good point; you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. He claims that we come to believe that our dreams are too big and too far out of reach, that we can’t ask the universe to make them come true. Instead, we choose our paths “out of fear disguised as practicality.”


I’m sure I’m not alone in that I have struggled in choosing between the safe route and what I truly love. As long as I can remember, writing has been my passion. I knew I wanted to write stories and make movies. And yet, everything I did was to ensure my path to medical school. Then I realized that, while I did find it interesting, and it would probably be a satisfying job, I didn’t think I could ever be satisfied with not following my dreams.

It started with me changing my major at Appalachian State from Natural Science (a psychology major that includes all the classes necessary for applying to medical school) to Creative Writing. At first I was worried that I was throwing away a sure thing based on a chance that my dreams might come true. Already fearing that I may had made a poor decision, naturally I decided to take it a step further.

I made the decision to not return to ASU this fall. Instead, I will spend the year working, and compiling a portfolio to apply at the North Carolina School of the Arts. I’m hoping to get into their school of filmmaking, concentrating in either directing or screenwriting.

I always think of the quote: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” 
My mind always fills with ideas. The sky is the limit. Then I step back and realize how much fear of failure truly holds us back.

Have any of you ever deviated from the “safe route” in order to pursue your dreams? What was it, and what made you decide to take a chance?

Thanks for reading!

I did my last post about starting a bucket list.

So I started.

My goal was to have 100 items on the list. I’m going to post #1-45, seeing as I’m not finished. I’m thinking maybe some of the things I wrote will give you guys some ideas. Continue to give me suggestion to add to my list!

 

Bucket List

1. Make a short film.
2. Write a novel.
3. Stay overnight in a haunted house/hotel.
4. Attend a Hollywood movie premiere.
5. Go on stage at a rock concert.
6. Donate at least $1,000 to a charitable organization.
7. Ride in a hot air balloon.
8. Drive on the Autobahn.
9. Get an actor to introduce himself/herself to you as a character they have played.
10. Go whitewater rafting.
11. Leave a $250 tip for a waiter/waitress.
12. Eat at least one meal in every state.
13. Be an elementary school teacher for a day.
14. Eat pizza in Italy.
15. Be on Ellen.
16. Donate 100 blankets to the homeless.
17. Go to Times Square for New Year’s Eve
18. Pay for a family’s meal in a restaurant.
19. Be a bridesmaid.
20. Throw a dart at a map and travel where it lands.
21. Stay overnight in an abandoned asylum/prison.
22. Go to a Superbowl.
23. Live in another country for at least 6 months.
24. Take a picture every day for a year.
25. Go to a “coffee shop” in Amsterdam.
26. Go on a cruise.
27. Visit at least 5 European countries.
28. Make a scrapbook.
29. Go to Comic-Con.
30. Befriend a complete stranger.
31. Play with a baby cheetah.
32. Go scuba diving.
33. See the 7 wonders of the world.
34. Go to Mardi Gras.
35. Drive a Lamborghini.
36. Hold a snake.
37. Go to Buckingham Palace.
38. Do a pub crawl in Ireland.
39. Take a tour of Alcatraz.
40. Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy.
41. Drink at an ice bar.
42. Pull an all-nighter in Las Vegas.
43. Write a letter to myself and open it in 10 years.
44. Learn to play poker.
45. Learn how to ice skate.