A bit of a lighthearted post for the weekend. I followed 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza on Instagram after her post-title-win interview. Not only had the Venezuelan-Spaniard proven to be a talented player, but she was refreshingly pleasant, gracious, unaffected, and even funny.
When yesterday her then latest photo popped up in my notifications (yes, yes, I admit I have “notifications on” for her posts) and I picked up my phone and tapped over to it…
…I had been working on a couple of “skeleton” scenes for the as of yet untitled follow-up to Conventions: The Garden At Paris.
When you write, you have to start somewhere(s). I see here and there on social media how “organized” other writers claim to be. Hmm. In contrast, early on I’m creative chaos, typing page after page often “stream of consciousness” style (“Okay, my friends, what are you going to do today?”), and thinking as I go variously anything from the likes of, “Oh, I love that!” to “Umm, that’ll kinda do for now…” to “Good grief, that’s junk!” while always hoping hoping hoping that I will eventually manage fully to develop what began life outlined as perhaps “10 ideas” on a page or two into the full novel readers will enjoy.
Knowing that, you may understand this better.
As I saw Garbiñe’s pic, unsurprisingly maybe, briefly I thought, Spain… and then Venezuela.
Based on what I was simultaneously working on, I thought also of America and “1797”… and suddenly of how back then there had been rumblings starting in the Spanish empire in South America…
…And I recalled our wonderful visit to Puerto Rico earlier this year…
…as well as our days in Washington, D.C…
…and I remembered how in D.C. there are statues here and there honoring various South American revolutionaries of that era. A few of them had visited the newly independent U.S. in the 1790s and early 1800s. Often they talked with American officials about their own colonies’ prospects for achieving independence from Spain and even sought advice.
I had probably thought about all of that in a 1 or 2 second flash. As I realized, I almost hit the ceiling. An opportunity for new characters and new sub-plots (perhaps stemming from the Viceroyalty of New Granada) had burst into my mind.
I berated myself, too: You idiot! How had you not thought of that before?
Within a few moments I was frantically typing once more:
Yes, the last paragraph in that part of the “brainstorm” is naturally me having an absurd laugher. (Which is why it’s in bold – so I don’t forget it’s there.) Writing can be – especially at the beginning of a project – difficult and stressful, but it should not be drudgery; you should allow yourself to have some fun as you fight to determine what is “working” v. what does not seem to be. Scribbling silliness occasionally can be one way to let off some stream.
Thus what a “brainstorming”-assist social media can be. I know I have written that before, but I think that above is an excellent actual example. Social media sometimes can direct your writer’s mind down a new route you had not previously considered… and then BAM!… you, uh, serve up an ace.😂
Hope you are having a good weekend.😊