New JournalWell, the brainstorming began in earnest this week. It was reading week, no classes, and my marking was finished last weekend, so no excuses either.

I kept a promise to myself and made sure that I found white space to create in. No cellphones, no computers, and CBC’s Espace Musique playing softly in the background. (I like listening to radio in French because I can’t understand much of what anyone is saying, so even the conversation washes over me with its own music.) The programs’ music choices are such a pleasure to listen to and never, ever boring.

And I’m pleased to say that all that white space worked! I bought a new journal (no suprise there to those who know me) and made a point of sitting with it every day until something emerged that resembled a story idea. I managed to come up with about 5 ideas that had a beginning, a muddle, and an end, and a few more with just beginnings and muddles but no endings–yet. I live in hope. 🙂

Of course, there is a lot of scribbling in my journal, too. Lists of places I’ve been, or places I should probably research, and settings of books I’ve read or am reading, anything really that I could think of that would keep the pen moving until something emerged. Last week, poet Patricia McGoldrick, suggested white paper and coloured markers and mind mapping. I’ve finally cleaned off the surface of my desk sufficiently to actually try that, so that’s my challenge this weekend. (And, also no surprise to my friends–I already own at least 2 sets of markers and more than enough paper. Please tell me that there are other writers out there who enjoy visiting Staples as much as I do!)

How do you brainstorm story ideas? Agatha Christie said she got her best ideas while washing dishes. I hope you find lots of creative ideas for your own projects that will keep you writing for a long time to come.

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