Creativity Coaching : Jurgen Wolff : An Endless Flow of Ideas
An Endless Flow of Ideas: The Four Brainstorming Guidelines
Excerpted from Chapter 4 of Your Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication
By Jurgen Wolff
"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Jack London
Inspiration is wonderful, when it happens. The problem is that it is notoriously unreliable. In this chapter you will discover strategies and techniques that help you come up with ideas whenever you need them. I first became interested in this when I started writing for television. My agent set up appointments for me to pitch ideas to various series. At each meeting I was expected to present six to eight storylines that suited that show. I quickly realized it would be very helpful to have a method for coming up with good ideas, rather than sitting around and hoping some would occur to me randomly. Over the years I have continued to research and develop new approaches for generating ideas, and now I will share the best ones with you.
Before we start, let's consider the simple guidelines to keep in mind for effective brainstorming.
The four brainstorming guidelines
Of these four, the hardest by far to observe is number two. We seem to be trained to judge every idea instantly, and usually to judge it harshly. If you brainstorm in pairs or a group, remind each other not to judge not even with a look or an intonation, or a self-deprecating comment like, "This probably isn't a very good idea, but " If you have a particular problem with this, you probably have an out-of-control inner critic, and a later chapter will help you transform it into a more constructive inner guide.
You may want to jot down the four guidelines on a sticky note and put it on a wall somewhere near your desk. Now you're ready to let the ideas flow. •
© 2007 Jurgen Wolff. Reprinted with Permission.
Jurgen Wolff has written over 100 episodes of TV, and six books. More »