The Creative Process

Pulling Back the Curtain

Have you ever wondered how artists and songwriters come up with their ideas? How does an author turn a spark of inspiration into a runaway bestseller? What process do movie directors use to transform a screenplay into a box office smash? Just how does the creative process work? I’m not sure how it works for everyone else, but I do know how it works for me. Whenever I am struck with a story idea, I jot down a quick note.

Recently, I saw a documentary about the classic rock album Machine Head by Deep Purple. This epic record came out in March 1972, when I was still in elementary school. However, by the time I reached junior high, everyone was humming the opening bars of Smoke on the Water. How did lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore come up with such an iconic song? Turns out he was inspired by Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, and as he said, “I owe him a lot of money.” 

It seems like songwriters, and writers in general, are constantly being struck by inspiration. How do they keep track of all of these little brainstorms? Some keep song or story journals. In my case, I use Simplenote. Since it’s available on the web, I can write down quick story ideas on my PC, iPad, or phone. It might be a couple of words, or maybe a paragraph or two. Just something to get the ball rolling, when I’m ready to sit down and write the article. Although sometimes, I’ll look at a phrase and wonder, “What the heck is this supposed to mean?”

Just to be clear, I don’t consider myself a writer per se. I’m more of a thought collector. However, I do share a similar process with every author from William Shakespeare to Stephen King. Being able to access that vast warehouse of story ideas is an amazing and humbling experience. Receiving a spark of inspiration, and turning it into something worth reading, is very satisfying indeed.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading these articles as much as I have enjoyed writing them. As always, please forward any stories you find particularly interesting to your family and friends. Also, please continue to like and follow this blog. Thank you!

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Share Your Gifts

Sometimes Your Leap of Faith is Made For You

Happy New Year and welcome back to Become Nostalgic About Today! There’s a great commercial I saw during the recent Black Friday Ad Blitz. You may have caught it as well. The spot is animated, and it’s done in the Pixar style. While melancholy music plays, a young woman sits in her bedroom, furiously typing away on her Macbook. Initially, it’s not clear what she’s working on. Eventually, we see that she’s a writer. Her dog keeps watch over her as she prints out her stories, then lovingly places them in a treasured green box, locked away from the world. I won’t give away what happens next, but this ad is brilliant.

Click on this link to view it yourself. I don’t pretend to know what goes on in the mind of an angsty young Jane Austen. However, as an aspiring writer myself, this commercial really brought a lump to my throat. Please take a moment to watch the whole two minutes and fifty-two seconds of this gem. I’m not going hit you with any spoilers, but I think it perfectly illustrates how a writer feels when composing her latest story, blog post, or article. It does a terrific job of showing the creative process.

Like the young lady in the video, I feel I have kept my stories locked away in my own green box. In my case, the green box is Facebook and LinkedIn. This leads me to make an announcement. In an effort to have this blog seen by more readers, I will be soon be launching a brand new website. It will combine this blog, along with The Brown Parachute Club, and any other future endeavors. As of my last post, Christmas Eve Bowling, I have written 53 articles for this blog, and I am hoping to actually make a few pennies from my writing in the future. There are plans for a YouTube page, as well as an eBook of some of the better articles. I hope you like the upgrade, and as always, I welcome your comments. This post-holiday season, don’t forget to share your own gifts. Whatever they may be.

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