Braindrowning: After the brainstorming

Last weekend, I spent four days in retreat with a group of likeminded writers, brainstorming our next books.  What bliss, what joy, what monstrous headaches.  I’ve read that the human brain is one of the biggest energy hogs in the body, burning through many calories to maintain its gray squishiness (not a technical term).  You can sense it on these retreats.  Or maybe that’s the smell of ozone crackling from smoking ears.  Anyway, you can certainly tell from the wreckage of dark choco peanut M&Ms, Dove caramels and Lindts wrappers.

What we’ve found you need for a successful story brainstorming retreat (besides chocolate):

  • A purpose
  • A plan
  • A passion

Wow, when I write it like that it seems so easy.  You can do it yourself without a bunch of extra brains.  What is your purpose?  That’s your goal, your author theme, what you want to say.  What is your plan?  You need a way to get there, a genre, a page-counting Excel spreadsheet, whatever.  What is your passion?  The rest won’t matter without it.

I’d never thought much about passion.  I haven’t had to because — despite fancying myself an analystical soul — I’m actually driven much by instinct.  Forced to confront my own inner workings, I shy away.  It’s why I have trouble writing love stories.  Ironic, since I’ve always been drawn to the romance genre.

Or maybe not ironic or surprising.  I’m trying to fix myself, right?  Aren’t we all, as writers?  So let’s start there, with our passion.  Tell me yours.



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