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I'm participating in Story A Day, and one of the suggestions for keeping momentum going through this month of daily writing is gathering Story Sparks. Basically Story Sparks - details from the world around you, "What if?' questions, memories, etc. - spark or enrich a story. Now, as founder Julie Duffy says:
"Set yourself a goal of gathering three story sparks every day and you will find yourself seeing the world in a different way (a writer’s way). Aim to have 15 at the end of each week, but don’t collect them all on one day. By getting into the habit of observing the world around you and capturing story sparks daily, you are training your brain to see the world through an artist’s filter. This will help immeasurably when you sit down to write."
Well, I'm pretty sure my "artist's filter" looks like my dryer's lint trap - gray and fuzzy and leaving my ideas like my clothes - damp, limp and funky-smelling. The older I get, the more other stuff - fluffs of reality! bunnies of dust! - clogs my creativity, vagues my vision.
I definitely have to clean off my imagination, but scraping my nails around my brain and throwing away the gunk isn't really an option. How do I clean up my focus, get it clear and sharp again? How do I retrain my brain to see those sparks?