Fall in Love with Ideas

As a writer, (as well as an actor), I need to fall in love with ideas. Not just whole, realized ideas, mind you. But fragments, snippets, questions, warped perceptions of previous ideas. Just about all of them.

It’s true that any creative idea could spark something that becomes a full fledged project, and that’s great. Yet I advocate falling in love with ideas even if they do not lead to a project.

Fall in love with the two lines of dialogue that come in to your head that you can’t find a place for in your work.

Fall in love with the concept that came to you for a novel, even if upon further consideration the concept probably can’t ever sustain a novel.

Fall in love with the characters that don’t find stories to live in. Write about them. Yes, go ahead and tell someone about them instead of showing. I won’t report you to the Creative Writing Police.

Fall in love with “what if?” considerations. Even absurd ones. Embrace them for at least as long as it takes you to provide one answer to the question. Or even if you don’t. “What if there had been a severe storm in Hawaii on December 7, 1941?” I don’t know what if anything that would change. But I have often wondered about the idea.

Fall in love with the questions that don’t have an answer. As corollary to that, fall in love with not having or not trying to find the answer.

But you can also fall in love with the answers if you find them, even if you can’t use them. Even if they are simple and silly.

Fall in love with how you would have written that scene in the novel or movie you like. Even if you don’t write it. And if you do write it, don’t publish it, of course, unless it’s in the public domain, but still fall in love with it.

Fall in love with ideas that you dislike. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it is possible, and it doesn’t involve changing your mind about the idea. Think on that one for a while; you’ll get it.

Fall in love with the story you never finished, or never started, or will never come back to. Fall in love with it because it is yours. Your every minuscule unfinished idea is still yours, after all.

There are many, many other ideas with which a writer should fall in love. But to sum up this advice, remember this;

Fall in love with the idea of ideas. If you allow yourself to do this, one day you’ll create something in full of which you can be quite proud, and may just get the attention of your audience. Then they can fall in love with some of your ideas too.

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