Friday, 6 April 2012

Golden showers




Ideas are a bit like showers for me. Sometimes they come pouring, and other times I have droughts. Writers rely on ideas as much as skill, we need to have a frequent flow of them to have something to say, but not all of them are good. Some of them are, but in application they don’t work.


Something I have learned recently on my MA is not to be so precious about my ideas. I’m working with a group of publishing students, an illustrator and another children’s writer to create a picture book. We are limited for time, and as it is a group project we have all had a say in the ideas and plot of the book. To begin with I found this incredibly difficult. Some of my ideas were not taken on, and some of the other’s ideas that I didn’t like were. It is the nature of the project though, we all have a say, and it is about the experience of publishing a picture book as much as the writing of it. So I stewed a little. I sulked and wondered whether I wanted my name attached to the plot I didn’t write by myself. I simmered and I wondered whether I wanted to be the awkward writer that publishers avoided or one that was adaptable. So I made a decision. When it came to the actual writing process I decided rather than  throw my toys out of the pram that my creativity was being neglected that I would shower the project with ideas, and apply my knowledge that way. Some ideas have stuck, and I’m happy with that. I may never be completely happy with the story but I can put as much of me into it as possible. Some ideas are rubbish, some just don’t work, some aren’t illustratable and some I know the instant it comes out of my mouth that it’s going to go nowhere in the project. But some are good, and do work, very well. If there is two things I will take away from this it is that;


1. Sometimes my ideas are shit and that’s ok.


 2. If you get a group of creative people in a room with a positive attitude you will leave with something more special than if you dig your heels in and don’t budge with your ideas.


Sometimes ideas are no good, and rather than curse the world for misunderstanding my creativity, sometimes the best way to deal with it is throw a bucket of newideas at it. Sometimes you need to fight for the good ones, but they are more likely to be taken on if you let the ropey ones go. Plus ideas generate more ideas, and the more ideas you have then the better chance that some of them will be cracking ones. I think this project may have made me less of a precious git, more likely to generate ideas more frequently and I quite like that. Call me a sellout but the buzz of bouncing those ideas is more than worth it. After all, without ideas, what will we have to write about? I may not have sole control, but I can make ripples. But be careful who you share them with. You can’t copywrite an idea, so get it written down. It can cut like a knife when someone else tries to take the credit.


Reactions:

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I honestly can't imagine you being a precious git. You've always struck me as someone who approaches creativity with a pragmatic attitude.

Then again, I wouldn't have thought you would steal the blog title I was going to use this week, so it shows how little I know.

It sounds like you're enjoying the MA.

Ash

Danielle Rose said...

Golden showers. Now lindsy I can see some very amusing key search words in the stats very shortly xx

Standard said...

I'm so jealous of you guys that can afford an MA. I'd love to still be inhabiting all these projects and concepts as my main focus. Everytime I read a blog like this or Lara's I get pangs of longing for classrooms and new concepts.

I can imagine how hard it must be to surrender control to a group effort. I guess noone will come out with a product they're completely happy with but I can see the merit.

Hope it goes well.

Top post :)

Lindsay said...

Good lord I just checked the search stats, and there's 'catheter erotica' in there. I've just been a bit sick in my mouth.