#KTChat, brainstorming, career goals, improv, Jorjeana Marie, kidlit, mindmapping, SCBWI members, writing
by Jorjeana Marie
Editor’s Note: On Twitter this Friday (9/16/22) from 12-1PM PST, Jorjeana will take your questions and discuss ways on how to define your writerly goals. Log into your Twitter account during our chat hour and use the hashtag #KTChat or @mention @jorjeanamarie and @SCBWISOCALLA to join the discussion! If you aren’t on Twitter, leave questions in the blog comments before the chat!
Brainstorming isn’t just for coming up with ideas or solving story solutions. If you’re at all unhappy with any aspect of your writing life, brainstorming can help. It can connect you with your deepest desires—and what better way to brainstorm than by playing some fun games with your inner kid.
Getting in touch with the books and movies and television shows (or any other medium) you enjoyed in your childhood is a great way to connect with your most creative self. Kids are creative—they laugh 300-400 times a day and have imaginations that are pretty incomparable.
So, let’s play a game. Set a timer for 90 seconds. Try not to lift the pen from the page or stop the keys from clacking. Do your best to apply the rule of “No judgement” from improv. It’s so easy to stop ourselves, but today give yourself permission to dream big and play wildly.
Write as quickly as you can every book, toy, show, film, etc. that you loved, carried around, talked about.
Perhaps something was stirred up there. I hope it was something good.
Let’s move to the current situation. What areas do you want to explore in your writing life? More sci-fi? Fantasy? Poetry? Genre-bending everything?
Set the timer again. Two minutes. Again, keep the hands moving. (You can also talk it out and record on your phone—I personally do this a lot). Explore areas of writing, creative interest. Jot down niches perhaps you tried in school or ones that intrigue you.
Let your imagination go. Songs? Graphic novel? A novel in verse? A play? A play for children? A family movie? A horror-romance-with time travel? Jot it all down.
Take a look at the list. Anything you want to add? Stand-up? Historical? Deeply philosophical? Holiday rom com?
Now, take a look at that. Look at you!
Okay. If someone said you could only save one thing on that list from a burning building, you could only leave one behind as your body of work… which one would you choose?
Having a hard time? Or is it clear as day?
I remember when a coach asked me that. I am someone with a lot of projects. But I’ve finally embraced writing daily the ONE I would choose. It’s not the only thing I write, but I love that it’s part of most days. That makes me satisfied and happy. And I wish satisfaction and happiness for you too.
This exercise makes it difficult for our lives to go too far afield from our dreams. We’re holding them, we’re writing them, we’re seeing them, and we’re only pages away from them.
I am very curious about what you came up with. What surprised you? What delighted you? Was there anything that made your heart happy? Please share your what in our upcoming chat. I look forward to connecting there. I’ll be sharing a tool that has helped many writers bypass self-criticism. This is one of the most important things we can get a handle on. Join me!
You can find more tips and updates by visiting Jorjeana on Instagram @jorjeanmarie and @jorjeanamarie on Twitter.
For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.
Jorjeana Marie is an award-winning screenwriter and author of Improv for Writers (Penguin Random House). She writes for Disney, Netflix, DreamWorks and Cartoon Network and voices over 400 children’s audiobooks from Audible, Scholastic, Harper Collins, and Hachette. She is the recipient of Earphones, YALSA and Audie awards. Sign up for her newsletter at jorjeanamarie.com for more helpful tips. Publishers’ Weekly calls her “Pitch Perfect”.
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com; Author photo by Tiffany Kyees.