We have all had it. That frustrating blankness that hits you when you want to write something. Those who know me, know that I have been trying to write a book on bees since 1986. I am not sure if this is worthy of an entry in the Guinness Book of Records – but this work of art has been a long time in the womb!
Coincidentally today, I had an extraordinarily energetic meeting brainstorming out a new marketing strategy for a company. We really got “in the flow”. At the end of the meeting I had to take 5 minutes out just to re-tune to normality. One of the people at the meeting started talking about left-brained and right-brained thinking – and pointed me to the work and theories of Gabriele Rico. Gabrielle has written a book that has sold over 500,000 copies called “Writing the Natural Way”.
On investigating the theories, I was struck by how similar they are to many of the methods I use in my work. I use Spider Diagrams or Mind Maps a lot to brainstorm-out ideas – and then clump or cluster them into patterns or blocks of ideas – before finally looking for a natural sequence or flow that works well for the problem set in question. I really liked Gabriele’s names for the two sides of the brain – “Sign Mind” and “Design Mind“. Sign mind (left hemisphere) thinks linearly, parts-specifically, logically, one step at a time, while the Design mind (right hemisphere) thinks in whole patterns, drawing on images, emotional webs, sensory patterns, as in a memory that suddenly flashes into consciousness as a complex whole. So similar to the attributes missing in the Organisational Caetextia article I wrote with Mark Richards last year.
So it got me thinking – why don’t I actually use this very effective technique to help me write the book? And it made me realise that my my work and other activities at home are so time-consuming that the real issue wasn’t so much writers block, but time deficiency! Although I have already created the chapters, the themes, the plot, I just need to sit down and write. But I am not a natural writer. I prefer telling stories aloud. I prefer drawing pictures. Anything but writing. Gabrielle’s theory says I should be using my right brain (or Design Mind) first – and then start writing…
Actually, this problem is really why I started to blog. Because I thought: if I write regularly in small chunks about things that interest me, then I hope to overcome this writer’s block that I have. I set up another blog – http:/beelore.com – a few years ago. And it really does seem to work – this blogging thing. Little and often is better than being blocked and producing nothing at all.
Which means that I don’t currently plan to finish the book – because by the time I have done everything else, I actually don’t want to find the time to write the book.
I would rather work, play and blog; and go with the flow. For the moment – anyway. Than write a massive book. On bees. That probably few will read. And certainly not over 500,000! The rough numbers that read Gabriele’s book!
In fact I called beelore a “blook” – sort of cross of a book and a blog. So maybe I havn’t got writer’s block…..I have simply replaced it with a new age, Web 2.0 writer’s blook!