24 February 2010

Notes on Being Blank

by Tyler Weaver.  Follow me on Twitter.

At my left was my state of mind, approx. one hour ago.  The pain of wanting to write something, and not being able to.

Then it hit me. I've seen countless posts on that annoying question "where do you get your ideas?" and I decided that I would write about not having ideas.  If this post seems more stream of consciousness (IE rambling) than normal, deal.

In the one hour it has been since I posted the above, I have done the following: stared at a wall, stared at a screen, and bounced a ball around.  I've also shuffled cards, cursed my writing impotence, and then aimlessly clicked around on the internet (the 21st century version of channel surfing).

So the question remains: What do I do when I'm out of ideas?

Some would say that I should go for a walk.  Do anything but think, and that the answer will come from that.  Amazingly, I've tried that, and I haven't trained my brain into the form of submissive pliability wherein the absence of thought produces thought.  All it produces is thoughts of how I don't have a thought, which then leads to annoyance, etc.  However, I am getting better about it.

Where do my ideas come from?  Necessity.  Not some sort of divine staring into the clouds sort of thing.  Necessity.  In my line of "work," ideas (and time) are my capital.  Without either, I don't get to grow.  Put both together, and something good comes out of it, but only if I give the idea the time to stew and grow.

If I don't, the only idea I'll have is that I'm annoyed with my lack of ideas, and that gets me nowhere.  Until...

My ideas come from necessity.  In the case of this article, it wasn't a monetary necessity.  It was the necessity that I wanted to write something - anything - and chose to take what was a problem - being blank on ideas - and turning it into that something - writing about a lack of ideas (not particularly well, but at least it's something).

I suppose this is a long, rambling way of saying, if you're out of ideas, you've got an idea.  Write about a lack of ideas and see where it goes.  The absence of something is a quantitative amount.  Just perspire a bit.

Don't know if perspiration is the right word, Tommy Ed - I think the correct one is "Desperation," followed by the eventual "screw it" mentality, which then leads to a shiny penny of an idea.

I'm going to go throw my ball around some more.

UPDATE 1:30PM 2/24: I had an idea.  Put it'll have to wait until my next article.


Tyler Weaver is a filmmaker, writer,  and unrelenting multi-hyphenate, a regular contributor to the pulptone.com website, and is the founder and EIC of Multi-Hyphenate... which you're reading right now.  He's currently making new things and yaks about that and more on Twitter under the creative guise of @tylerweaver.


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