Wednesday, March 24, 2021

My brain is a lonely storm

So, brainstorming. Aside from being a weird word -- seriously, say it out loud and try to visualize the thing you're saying... see what I mean? -- the concept is also, for me, a little fraught. 

I love talking about other people's stories, sometimes helping them get to the next step, and then watching them sail off to implement all the great ideas they came up with just by talking it out. And sure, I've tried to replicate that sort of thing for my own writing. I've attended brainstorming sessions with local writers' groups, and even some smaller, less formal sessions with my own critique partners. But in the end, we all sit down at a table or something and they look at me and say something like, "So, what's your idea?" or "What do you need help with?" and instantly, I don't even know how this happens, but my idea becomes garbage. Like, I'm so embarrassed by it, by the weird stuff my brain thinks up, and I know it's boring and there's no saving the story, so I mumble something dismissive and try to move the conversation on to the next topic, usually someone else's story. More solid ground.

Let me be clear: my failures with getting brainstorming help are entirely my own. The support structure around me is lovely and encouraging. I just... I think maybe brainstorming with others requires a level of confidence that I haven't achieved yet? Something like that. 

Until I get there, all storms take place inside my own little brain. I would of course love to hear your take on a better way to bottle this particular lightning.

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