Over Thinking – The Destruction of Creativity

A roulette wheel.

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You walk into a pool hall, a bowling alley or a casino for the first time.  All brand new and shiny, you are awed.  You take your first break of the rack, throw the bowling ball down the lane for the first time, or you bet it all on black.

WINNER! WINNER! WINNER!

Wow, this is easy!  You think.. but then you actually do start to think.  And then before you know it, you are scratching on the pool table or sinking the 8 ball prematurely.  Your bowling ball keeps gravitating to the gutter and you’re pretty sure you should leave the casino before you sign your kids over to the roulette wheel dealer.

Every time we over think something, we destroy the creativity and naturalness of what is to be.

Let’s take writing our plot for our story or blog.  We break it down into small pieces in an outline.  We have topics, sub topics, and then we have all the goodies to stuff inside.  I don’t know about you… but when it comes to writing fiction, I have to leave the outline right in front of my face.  I am still working on how to get it so that it is a transparent film over top of my computer screen.  Like back in the day with those projector screens in school.  As if!

Over thinking has been the creation of my demise.  Kind of an oxymoron, but I think you get the gist.   I get a simple idea, and then before I know it, I am adding too much sugar, taking out a lot of salt, and voila!  I have some nasty concoction that was once awesome.

Of course we have to have characters, a plot, a sub lot, and all the other cream that gets stuffed inside.  Easy… one thing at a time.  Outlines help me out because I have a tendency to travel on one road and then I see a little offshoot, and before I know it, I am writing ten pages about the sub plot (which is starting to interfere with the main plot) and.. wait, what was I writing about?  How did this purple Smurf get in here?  Damn my over thinking!

Sometimes we need something along the lines of a purple Smurf.  Maybe your purple Smurf has a dog named Vlad that shoots flames out of his paws.  Who knows.  It is good to have a scratch pad or something to the side (I do this.. it gets the distractions out of my head) to doodle your cockamamie ideas.

You never know…. getting it out of your over active imagination might lead you to something big!  For today, there is only do, or do not.  There is no over thinking.

Ideas (unedited rant on writing)

I’ve read in a lot of books about writing that in order to get anywhere with writing it is necessary to write at least a page a day.  I was at one time trying to break into the fiction market.  I was writing at least five pages a day about whatever popped in my head and I would not stop until I reached five pages.  This type of writing is called free writing.

I stopped writing for a couple of years.  Life happened and I had to buckle down.  Being practical superseded trying to live my dream.  I am trying to break back into the market again.  However, this time I am going down a different road.  That is the article road.

I find this to be a lot more challenging than fiction writing.  See, in fiction writing, I could write whatever I wanted.  There is little requirement for facts in fiction writing.

Article writing requires a lot of facts.  Facts are not hard to come by.  Finding facts that are indeed facts and not an interpretation of the facts is the difficult part.

So I get out my notebook and I write a list of all of the things I would like to write about. Then I write facts in big bold letters next to each idea.

Sports, Motorcycles, Women, Abuse, Alcoholism, Running, Eating right.  These are some of the ideas I have jotted down.  Some of these ideas are articles in progress which may make it to my blog or may be a victim of the delete button.

I was fortunate enough to get a response when I posted a link to my blog here on my Facebook page.  A writer guy I am friends with on there gave me some good advice.  I have to love it and I have to keep writing.

Ideas come from living.  I have to reach deeper and pull out some of the stuff that may make me a little uncomfortable to write about.  This world certainly wasn’t built on playing it safe.   My writing won’t be built on playing it safe either, it seems.

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