Monday, July 10, 2006

What's your favourite kind of brew?

Brewing up
Uploaded on March 1, 2006
by Western Sahara Project
I haven't been able to sleep all weekend long. I'm brewing.

I love it when it happens. I don't know how everybody else's creative process works, but for me it comes in spurts. It's been nearly a week now that I've been quietly simmering and this past weekend I think I've come to a boil as it started affecting my sleep too (almost nothing ever affects my sleep).

What I do when I recognize the symptoms (gosh, reading this one would think it's a disease) is not to interfere. I don't write my ideas down and I don't try to force anything. I just sit back and let the process take over until the ideas materialize into something cohesive (or not :).

So now I can talk about it because I think the process has come to an end. This one has been particularly long and complicated and this morning I've actually, finally, started writing down the amalgamated ideas.

I usually think that whatever I do or think is what most people do or think, so is that true? How do most people's creative process works?

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12 comments:

Flood said...

I'm kinda the same way. At least the plot structure runs around in my head for a few days, and I just say that I'm onto something when pressed about what's new in my writing. Like you, talking about it makes it disappear, because ideas in the mind can be delicate when first born.

fringes said...

I think I simmer a little like you. I may look like I'm watching TV or drinking on the balcony, but I am actually working. After simmering, I get to a quiet space and start working it all out on digital paper.

redchurch said...

For me it depends. Some ideas, like an awesome plot connection, I simply have to write down because if I don't I will forget it.

Other times, when I'm not sure what I want to do or (to be honest) I have no clue what I'm doing, I will just read, think, and wait. Eventually things begin to brew.

I often let things brew when I'm in research mode. I'll read 3-5 books on a subject, and then just give myself some fermenting time. Eventually the "A-ha!"s begin to surface as a trickle, and then a raging torrent.

It's the little things, the details I have to write down though, so I don't forget.

Benjamin Solah said...

I don't use the word 'brewing,' I like 'festering' much better.

This current short went through more than its normal stages. First, the idea festered in my head until I had to write it. I stopped half way through and started again, and again and again. It hadn't finished festering and the story kept changing.

I stopped and tried to let it fester some more, it worked in part and I tried again the other day, only for it to stop some more. So, the other night I worked out the whole plot talking to someone in a chatroom and now it's festering in my head at the moment. It gets to the boil sometimes, but I just leave it there. Soon, like a big wart, it'll pop onto the page.

rdl said...

My creative process usually happens when I'm busy trying to get ready for work and get there on time or in the shower or in the car, or when i should be going to bed so that i can get up and go to work ( it seems work is the problem). Sometimes all this great stuff comes and I know it's just gonna be lost, i'll never remember it.

Deborah said...

I'm always simmering. But when my fingers start moving and keep moving, I call it "The Flow." I can't stop once I start. Everything kind of melds into the background.

Fred Charles said...

Ideas seem to flesh themselves out in the back of my mind. If I try to hard to sort these ideas out, I seem to get nowhere.

Melly said...

Flood, Fringes, I knew it!
Processes tend to be similar :)

Eric, 'brewing in research mode' - that's good. I think I do too.

Benjamin! Festering! I love that! Brings out even more the 'malady' condition. Hilarious and true :)

rdl, I've always maintained that work, at least for me, kills all creative juices. So I totally know what you mean. Also, how annoying is it to have all those ideas exactly at times when you can't write them down??? :)

Deborah, the flow - good analogy. I think I'm more wavy than flowy though. Maybe even with tides coming in and out ;)

Fred, exactly! Exactly what I was trying to explain. You put it much better.

Fred Charles said...

The bad part is that I tend to brew more than write ;)

Melly said...

For me the bad part is the brew drinking... (not coffee kind of brew ;)

michaelm said...

Someone once said, "The muse loves the smell of hard work."
I try to keep that in mind because waiting for "inspiration" to strike can be a total dead end. You have to keep the pen moving and eventually words you can use "magically" appear. That's usually when you realize you had a surprise visitor during your writing session.
I work best early in the morning when I'm still half sleeping. At that time my hand just seems to write. I edit later when I'm awake and can tell the good stuff from the bad.

~m

Jim said...

Oh, heck yeah! Brewing is generally the rule with me, as well. In fact, I've got one 'brewing' right now, a book idea that spawned from a 5:30AM horse feed in the mist. That's a very spooky setting that almost always generates a new idea. It's been simmering now for a few days, and I think I'm just about ready to start writing things down (before I lose them to the plot bunnies.