: the great debate :

Coming up with ideas is a crap shoot. I’ve no clue where they come from or where to look when I need one. Ideas have a mind all their own and follow their own sneaky, backstairs schedule. Sometimes they drop by, but more often they don’t.

You can’t force them, either; I’ve tried. It scares them off.  Ideas, I’ve decided, are like birds, very, very skittery. Attempt a sudden grab and, fwip, away it goes. Gah, so frustrating and so typical. The better plan is to ignore how desperately you need a spark, a notion, any sign of brain activity whatsoever and go on about your day. Which, for me, means sitting on my keister and obsessing over stuff I can’t control.

Which I was doing when, shazam!, two ideas landed in my brainpan at the very same time. Lucky, lucky me — two bona fide possibilities. Oh, joy, oh, rapture, right? Wrong, I couldn’t decide between them. Each had merits. I dithered and fussed, swinging between options. It would have been easier to draw the winner from a hat.

Eventually, sides were taken and a fight broke out. One side demanded Idea A, the other side insisted on Idea B. Names were called, punches were thrown, and synapses were breached. In the end, I was forced to raise the white flag and surrender the field before my head exploded.   

Now I need an aspirin the size of a yo-yo. Sorry for the snafu. Please come back again when order is restored.

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

198 thoughts on “: the great debate :

  1. Well written. I thoroughly enjoyed this!

    This is the whole issue around writer’s block. You can’t sit at the computer looking at a screen to generate ideas. Ideas are swift-footed, elusive creatures spotted when you’re on the verge of falling asleep (you’d better snap to alert and write them down!), waking you at 3:00 in the morning, torturing you in the shower (which you cut short, stumbling half wet in your towel to paper or computer), itching the back of your brain when your hands are occupied with the steering wheel, and blinding you with full brilliance when you’re running late on an adrenaline-charged workday morning.

    “brainpan” — awesome word.

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  2. Every time !!! Every day !!!….. but the day i get that one idea and everything just flows out , that is worth the wait 😊 #similar thoughts # unique writing though

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  3. Ok! Ad / HD frustrating to always have ten posts in the head but not get down one, haaaaaa but check this out. It’s big to be me so keep up with this blog please, hm .. Did I write this?

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  4. This was beautifully written. This happens in my mind more often than not. It’s so frustrating when I can’t just sit and generate ideas.
    I love your sense of humour

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  5. Glad to see I’m not alone. My spark is around 3:00am — pitch black dark — I put a pad and pencil on my nightstand – what happened to it???? On the floor, with my glasses… Maybe tomorrow LOL

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    1. I’ve woken myself laughing in the middle of the night, certain I have the funniest, cleverest idea ever. When I remember it in the morning, though, it makes absolutely no sense. It’s flat out stoopid in daylight, but hilarious at 4 am. Go figure.

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  6. And yesterday it so happened that my girlfriend asked me to write about something social and all i could think about was Manchester and terrorism.. Finally​ got a nice ​idea!!

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  7. This is what I was referring to in my own blog. Check it out and see if this does’nt mirror the thought. Great way of putting it, by the way. Looking forward to more.

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  8. I loved this, very good way of describing what happens when a stroke of inspiration hits us. Beautiful worded!

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  9. Great post. I’ve now started writing exclusively on my phone. It’s a great habit to cultivate. What do you always have with you when the brain farts strike? Correct. Our annoying little friend is never out of reach and you can now Press those moments of genius offline.
    Will follow the contents of the brainpan with interest.

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    1. Wow, you’re good. I’ve tried writing posts on my phone and it’s a disaster. It takes forever and nothing ends up where it’s supposed to be. Not that it’s any different when I use the computer, but it’s not as time consuming :o}

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      1. Actually reading an responding to your post just gave me a creative bump. Just posted one on the interesting places I’ve found myself in and the spots I’ve written in. Thanks for the inspiration. 😀

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    1. Reminds me of this Colson Whitehead quote I read the other day: “Anything I find interesting goes in the hopper and becomes an influence or inspiration to some degree,” he told an interviewer. “At various times, that’s been comics, film, TV, music. And books—can’t forget books!” Like Chabon, he has professed that it was the beloved pop culture of his childhood that made him want to write: “X-Men and Spider-Man comics, then science fiction, horror, and fantasy novels.”

      https://newrepublic.com/article/140954/nostalgic-fiction-booming-eggers-chabon-lethem

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  10. Definitely can’t force them. I just spent two days writing a post because it was too exhausting to try and do it in a day and I wanted to make sure that I got everything down.

    But there are definitely posts that I have started and just abandoned because the emotions were not longer there.

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    1. Now, I’m no expert, but sometimes if you let them sit awhile — days or weeks or months — they often improve with age. Or maybe it’s desperation. I’m good either way 😏

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      1. For sure! Time is a huge factor. When it comes to the book I’m writing, I’ve written and elaborated the same chapter over 50 times now. 🙃 Mainly because there is always more details to add.. But when it comes to my journaling, it’s definitely a one and done thing. I write to get rid of the emotions (stream of consciousness only). No edits necessary or required. Other than spell check, of course! 😉

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  11. Love this post! Your blog is beautifully designed. I seem to get ideas at the most inconvenient times – in the shower, in the car, or as I drift off to bed. Then, as I actually have an idea and begin to write a post, I find that it ends up becoming one of many unfinished drafts.

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  12. Creativity comes when you are in the zone, that moment you are in perfect harmony with a thought/idea be it in the bathroom, walking or busy.

    I always walk with a small notebook and a pen to “arrest” whatever comes to mind – by jotting it down immediately. If not possible to write immediately, I keep my thoughts controlled, and hold back as many random thoughts as possible till I write that particular inspiration down.

    I may or never develop the thought in due time, but through drafting it, it’s not lost to the wind; It stands a chance to be expressed by me – one day

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  13. If we all wrote whatever came to mind in our blogs, it might be interesting, or it would be a disaster. Oftentimes I overthink what I want to write when just a so-so idea would be just dandy, then I would have plenty of blog inspiration.

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    1. Oh, how well I know the anguish of overthinking. I’ve ruined more ideas by nitpicking than by anything else, including bad grammar. Oy, it’s so irritating!

      Gosh, can you tell overthinking is my nemesis?

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  14. I love this post! This is pretty much exactly how I feel about writing in general.
    So many authors set a word count for each day (which I think is awesome and I’m not saying it’s a bad idea), but that does not work for me, because I cannot force ideas. I have to just wait until they come to me. And sometimes they come at very inconvenient times, like when I’m working on a completely different part of the story! But, I’ve learned that when the inspiration comes, I’ve gotta write it down immediately, because I know it will not come to me when I’m trying to force it. So what happens is I’ll go a couple of days without writing, then all of a sudden the ideas flood into my brain and I’ll write an entire chapter, even if it isn’t chronologically where I left off. I just stick it in later when I get to that part.

    Bottom line: writing is messy!

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  15. This is actually spot on. Trying to force an idea almost always leads me to writing pretty terrible posts. The good ones are always the ideas that are fleeting – if I can remember them of course.

    Great humorous and relatable post!

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  16. I always have good luck just blogging when I have an idea. Sometimes I’ll have part of an idea, and I’ll make a note of it until it develops more. The more I blog, the more ideas I have, and the more I blog. It’s really addicting! :)

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  17. The idea I start out with when I sit down to write seldom has much to do with what I end up writing. I can’t decide if that’s maddening or the coolest thing ever. Maybe it’s both.

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  18. This made me laugh. I get it. I’m late to the party comment-wise (story of my life, kid) and late to the party blogging-wise. New to this particular corner of the world but trying to figure it all out.

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    1. You want to talk about being late to the party? I recently bought The Elements of Style, Strunk & White’s famous grammar guide from 1959. So, in comparison, you’re a trend setter :o)

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  19. Great post! Loved the topic! I use a Word Bank. When something hits me – a word, a phrase, a title or feeling, I write it down in my Word Bank for times when noting is coming and I need help. Another way for me is looking at great quotes.
    Thanks, Chuck
    Come see me???

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  20. Randomness…I Like it! I have a notebook with ideas scribbled down under each of my page categories, but quite often just sit down and decide what to write then…if I’m stuck I look at which category I’ve not covered the longest and try to fill that gap. (so if I’ve done a few days of recipes, I’ll do a parenting or budgeting one). Great read, thanks for sharing with us (hope the aspirin did the trick?) Anna x

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  21. Hi! The aspirin helped a lot. Admitting defeat and walking away took care of the rest. I admire your system for developing ideas, it’s genius. I’m just lucky to hold back the pandemonium 🤦🏻‍♀️

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  22. ideas abound, time does not. That really is the key, isn’t it? When I have an idea for a post, I am strapped for time, when I have time, I am like what they keck am I gonna write about. I sauntered over from Krista’s post about ideas – glad I did. Like the roller coaster marquee… where all on a wild ride of sorts. Have a wonderful week and great fourth of July.

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  23. I am regularly tormented by ideas that fluttered by, tempted me, then left without a usable trace. Even though I carry my iPhone and I am determined to stop and jot down a note, if needed, more often than not I am the victim of “in a few minutes I will sit down comfortably to write.” You guessed it, by then no squeezing of the upper appendage, moaning or other invocations can restore that fleeting thought.
    Your writing certainly brought all that back to the foreground for me. Great job!

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  24. Haha this is so true! Beautifully summarised in a delightful post too. I guess I often experience that war between Ideas A and B (and C, D, E…) in my head, so I come across as indecisive. I like to think of it as open minded! :D

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  25. This could be me, over the past few days! Though I am yet still awaiting the moment I become the battleground for two good ideas. The ground is very much barren for me. Your post did make me grin, though, so thank you for improving my otherwise fruitless day. :D

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    1. Well, see? You’re waiting for good ideas. My standards are much, much lower. I’ll take anything and call it an idea. Try it, you might like it, too :o)

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  26. I agree! It’s always such an irony that when you try to force it nothing comes. But when you least expect it or you surrender and just do something else, the thoughts start flowing. My biggest challenge is not dismissing my own ideas as never good enough. So i try to get myself to write them down no matter what

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  27. Love this.. so true! haha Ideas or lack thereof are so frustrating! Thank goodness my phone is always with me so an idea never gets away ;)

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