Every now and then I get the impulse to sort through, and cull my 'stuff'. You know the type of thing: those links, quotes, ideas and jottings etc. that we collect. This particular stuff was relevant to my technical writing and online training work, but similar in composition to my fiction stuff.
I find culling takes sizeable chunks of time, as I have to look at the links, read the articles, and try to make sense of my scribbles. Among the information was a link to a video. My initial reason for saving the link was that I liked the idea of the 'quick time' drawing, and how the core principle could be used to make some online learning topics more interesting, and the information more easily recalled.
Watching the video this time I took more notice of the content - there must be a moral hidden here! The talk is by Steven Johnson, and the topic is Where Ideas Come From. It's given from the perspective of business and science, but is also very relevant for writers.
In the video Steven Johnson says, 'Chance favours the connected mind.' We are fortunate to be living in a time when connected can mean social media, forums, blogs, email and so much more, as well as a physical connection. Whether we live in an urban environment surrounded by others, or miles from a neighbour we can be connected.
Last week I met up with another writer friend, and was able to indulge in some writing talk. During this time we came up with, and swapped, several great ideas for both writing and marketing.
Writing tends to be a solitary profession, and I certainly need quiet when I'm writing, but I also need that cross-pollination that comes from meeting with other people.
The other point that resonated with me was that ideas take time to mature. I have read many interviews with writers who talk about this - that they had the idea of a plot, or characters, for many months, or even years, before they started writing. I've also found the same. Also that an idea that has been lurking for a long time, but not going anywhere, can be revitalised or even take off in an unexpected direction, when it meets an idea from someone else, often on an unrelated topic.
Here is the link to Steven Johnson.