In this past month, the members of 8 Cent Publishing got together with the intention of getting our thoughts out there. We really wanted to aim our blog and book in a certain direction so our writing could be more specific, more precise. Well, after an hour of brainstorming, we had all of two things on the board that everybody could agree with; “Media” and “Sports”. Our session hadn’t been that successful, but why? We weren’t really brainstorming.
Rule #1 of Brainstorming: Think of a specific question, and JUST WRITE
The question was “What should we write about?” Our question didn’t inspire thought, we should have zoomed in and asked ourselves “What do I like to do?” or “Whats something I’d like to do?” Questions like that are great, they’re easy to answer and everybody will be able to contribute their thoughts. We tried to negotiate with each other about what was acceptable, something everybody liked. We skipped the most important part! It’s all about just making the pen move on paper to create words. It shouldn’t matter how silly or dumb your responses are, as long as you answer your question. Any answer can turn into an essay, a blog post, or a story.
Rule #2, the only other rule of Brainstorming: A good idea holds your interest
Writing is difficult at times, but you should never regret writing. If you’re sick of something, it’s time to move on. You can tell when people are disinterested in what they’re writing about. They write because they feel like they HAVE to, not because they want to. Now, I’m not saying, “If you don’t enjoy writing, then don’t even bother.” NO! It’s not that you don’t enjoy writing, it’s that you haven’t found a subject that you enjoy talking about. Peoples’ best works are created when the author is determined to write a good book/blog/essay/speech/whatever about something important to them. I don’t know a single person that’s said “Oh yeah, I wrote this really awesome blog post about [Insert something that doesn’t interest them].”
Brainstorming is like Jenga
You know, Jenga? Writing without brainstorming is setting yourself up for failure. It’s like pulling two of the bottom blocks out on your first two moves. Brainstorming provides a strong and sturdy foundation for you to build on. It’s like taking key blocks from the middle of the Jenga tower. If you fail yourself, you can always start over and build a new tower.