A brain dump is an idea you have but need to remember for later. Brain-dump your thoughts to get your work done. ~ Anon
I was a bit hesitant in doing this because I thought hell there are loads of articles on the topic which anyone can access but on second thoughts I remembered I had my own audience and if I want to serve them why should I refer them to others? Surely I can articulate the few ideas I have in my voice and recommend further readings.
In On Writing, best-selling author Stephen King also stated that writing became easier in his later years as he rarely spent beyond 3–6 months on any new project, at least for his first draft. He said he struggled to understand how writers spend years writing one book/novel when all that was required was just pouring out those thoughts.
Let us examine this a bit more. I liken it to the popular advice in writing; Write daily. Some advise us to embark on “word dump” this with brain dumping). Yes, we can dive in and dump everything. It’s a strategy that helps in many ways but most significantly in overcoming the dreaded writer’s block.
The fact that many best-selling writers attribute their success to the brain-dump/writing-sprint method doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you but it does work because I have tried it and I just did a dump before starting this post. I usually wake up with a clear head at 5:15 am. I used to wake at 4:50 am until I asked myself where I was hurrying to so I decided to add an extra half hour. No, I cut 5 minutes and added 25 more minutes.
Back to the topic. I woke up with an unusual cluster of thoughts even though I had a good rest and I just couldn’t figure out why. My thoughts were running wild with different issues competing to be at the fore. I figured this was because I had a jampacked weekend of work including on Sunday and in between I had 3 scheduled meetings. One with the cmonionline community and two with business concerns. I had to clear my head!
So I decided to do a brain dump instead of my usual Morning pages. Yes, I do a brain dump multiple times but I do Morning Pages once a day. I set my timer for 15 minutes. I usually do brain dumps for less, max 5 minutes. Most times I just use a voice recorder and pour out my thoughts for 3 minutes. More often this serves as a reminder than to clear my head.
As I started dumping my thoughts I soon realised that the recurring worry was related to my unpreparedness for the meeting I scheduled with my staff at Newross & Co. By the time I finished, 3 out of the 4 pages I wrote had almost everything I should need for the meeting. I knew I had done enough. I can develop the points further while speaking during the meeting. My head was clear and I faced my laptop to write what you are reading now.
That is really one of the primary purposes of doing a brain dump; to clear your cluster of thoughts and allow your conscious mind to focus on the Most Important Task MIT. It is a great technique for beginners as well as experienced writers because we all have millions of thoughts roaming through the brain in high entropy. And the sweetest part is that there are no RULES! Some writers will advise you to do it on screen or in longhand. Others will tell you to use a speech recorder. Yet some will advise you to set out a time of the day. These tips are all worthwhile but just do you. Do what suits you.
There are other benefits and like I said at the beginning this is the time to refer you to other texts. You can read them up here and then check out more tips in my repertoire of writing resources in a digital era. We live in a time when it is easier to do many things including writing more than ever in history, so why not utilise the available tools to improve the craft you love?
Before I leave you, hear this. I recently came across a mind-blowing software that makes you bang out words at a breakneck pace. The write-or-die app created by Dr Wicked is designed to delete your previous words if you don’t churn out more at a certain rate. Can you beat that? Of course, you can! The app is over a decade old. We now have ChatGPT from Elon Must and other AI text generators with seemingly limitless possibilities.
The future is scary looking at the speed of these technological innovations. But we won’t run away. We are here to stay so we will definitely adapt because that is what humans do.
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Thanks for reading.