Okay, so what is brain drain? I first came across the term back in the sixth grade when my teacher defined it as coming back to school on Monday after the weekend or coming back after Thanksgiving or Christmas break.
Yes, she was one of those old school teachers who gave homework as if she was the only one giving it out.
Needless to say I passed her classes with a ‘C-minus’ and a 2.2 overall GPA back in the sixth grade.
Anyway, enough for the throat clearing. Today I want to talk to you about how to avoid the dreaded forgetfulness at the keyboard.
Recall my previous article where I stated my four awesome ways to get motivated to write.
Something I neglected to mention: Always have a notebook on hand or at least make notes in your phone when the inspiration pops up say, if you’re gazing into the sunset at your favorite place where the memories stir up.
If I’m gazing at the good old Wintersville water tower it’s wise to have something to write with so I don’t sit at the keyboard and wonder what the hell motivated me in the first place.
So, embark on the following steps in the following situations.
I don’t mean a daily journal. Instead I mean an idea journal. Jot down the thoughts, emotions, and inspiration. Sure, you can use your laptop in such situations, such as if it were a clear summer evening when I gaze into the lost horizons behind the tower and write down every single thought that crosses my mind.
Remember, you aren’t writing a novel idea here; just write your feelings and analyze them later on. They don’t even need to make sense.
For instance, if I’m gazing into the tower (see picture above), I’m writing something like this:
2. Gin Blossoms
3. Not only Numb
4. Congratulations, I’m Sorry
5. New Miserable Experience
6. Goo Goo Dolls
7. Only Wanna be With You
8. A synopsis of my own, personal music videos for some corresponding songs like Lost Horizons, Hey Jealousy, Found Out About You, etc.
Notice that I’m associating time in Wintersville, Ohio with alternative rock songs from the 1990s plus some other subgenres.
Also note that what I wrote doesn’t even make sense, but that’s not the idea here. The idea is to know exactly why I drove to that abandoned grocery store parking lot to catch a view of the Wintersville sunset falling behind the tower.
At least I have an idea on what to write about.
Yes, make a video of your ideas. If I’m running around town during a summer morning I might make a video as they spark my creative juices.
Since Northern Knights was set in a Wintersville-like area, I did this constantly. Some of the more notable landmarks in Wintersville were also set in Northern Knights, such as shots of the water tower, the mural, Kettlewell Stadium, which is actually mentioned in the book, and the “location” of Summit University.
Note that no actual university is located in Wintersville and the nearest one is Franciscan University of Steubenville a few miles away.
I also snapped a little picture montage as well, which I’ll share below.
The pictures and videos both allowed me to be more descriptive while writing and editing the work.
It’s more than just me stating this is what you need to do. You actually have to get up and do it.
I know the weather is still somewhat cold, but don’t worry, we’re only eighteen days from March 1st when the season changes in my neck of the woods.
Your homework assignment is a simple one, and don’t worry, it’s nothing like the mountain of work my sixth grade teacher once gave my class.
All you need is a notebook or laptop and a cell phone. Write your feelings and ideas, snap photos of places that provide inspiration, go home and get writing.
Trust me, you will be inspired by what you find and your creative juices will start flowing immediately.