One of the funniest things about writers is that we’re largely unaware of our working processes. We do stuff, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but we often have very little sense of how we create ideas and what the best way is for us to work on them.
I’ve recently become painfully aware that every now and then, I become childishly obsessed with a current movie. I watch it repeatedly, irrespective of whether it’s any good or not. It dominates my creative thought processes for weeks. I buy crappy magazines just because they contain an article about it. I’ve even been known to dream about it.
And what seems to be going on is that my imagination has identified a tiny nugget of interest and is processing it in some way, expanding on it, and eventually creating a whole new character or story idea.
Eventually, the movie falls away, and I’m left with a totally original idea, often in a different genre – inspired by one line of dialogue, a single image, even the look on an actor’s face.
So I figure it’s time for us all to come clean. Fellow writers, what are your crazy writing habits? In what weird ways are you compelled to feed your creative processes? I’m not the only one, right?