Thursday, January 03, 2013

Light Bulb!

In the children's movie, Despicable Me, the main character, Gru, who is a delicious paradox of villain and hero, will get a wonderful idea and say, "Light bulb!"  (Side note: if you've never seen this movie, get thee to NetFlix or Red Box or the Internet and watch it. You won't regret it.)

I had a light bulb idea last night with my novel. It wasn't just a dim light bulb idea, either, but an incredibly bright, story-changing-for-the-better idea.


Where do these light bulb ideas come from, anyway? I'm reading an interesting book right now called Thinking Write by Kelly L. Stone that delves into the different parts of our brain and how we can use our subconscious to be more creative.

I believe these "light bulb ideas" come from our subconscious. It is always working and trying to come up with ways to solve problems. I've come to the conclusion that if I just think about my novel for a bit and run through a few different scenarios to fix whatever problem I'm having, then stop thinking about it for awhile, my subconscious will work on it and eventually come up with the solution when I least expect it, thus producing a "light bulb" moment.

Stone shows how you can tap into the power of your subconscious to unleash your creativity. I think there's something to that. Our brains are very powerful, and I don't think we use even a fraction of their capability in our daily lives much less our writing.

Is there a way you work through your writing problems that result in a light bulb moment?

14 comments:

  1. Light bulb moments are great! I had one for my novel halfway through NaNo. It just popped into my head - huge problems solved!! And these moments do often come when I've stopped thinking/worrying about the issue.
    Our brains really are masterpieces - wonderfully and fearfully made.

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    1. Don't you just love those moments? Those are really what make writing SO much fun! And I agree - our brains are incredible masterpieces.

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  2. Well, not particularly a writing problem, but I know if I'm trying to find a solution to a life problem, it will usually come to me after 'sitting on it' for a while. What seems impossible in the moment, will sometimes be a 'duh' thing after thinking on it for a spell.

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    1. Isn't that the truth, though? I think we can over think things far too much sometimes and miss making the simple solutions.

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  3. Love that movie. :) And my answer sounds pathetic: take a nap...or a shower. Something about tuning out like that definitely awakens the subconscious!

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    1. Oh no - not pathetic at all! I get ideas in the shower all the time - or if I need to think on a problem, I lay down and close my eyes and dwell on it for awhile. The trick is not to fall asleep before I write down my ideas. LOL

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  4. I love lightbulb moments (and Despicable Me, too!) I think you are right, after we brainstorm actively for awhile, our subconscious kicks in to finish the rest of the work. I think our brains our so amazing and mysterious but we are made in the image of God after all!

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    1. I agree, Margo. God designed us so well!

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  5. Our minds are so very powerful! I like the "wait and see" idea of just letting it sort itself out in time. It hasn't steered me wrong yet! I like Despicable Me especially the "It's so fluffy!" part, it's one of my favorite scenes from animated film!

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    1. I love that part, too, Jess! LOL Such a cute movie. They're making a second one, too.

      I think the 'wait and see' is the best thing to do. When we try and force a solution, we just wear ourselves out.

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  6. I haven't seen that movie yet, but now I want too!

    I often don't have a clue about what the ending of something I'm working on should be-and many times a really great idea will come in a light bulb moment! It amazes me every time! Almost like it's not my brain, lol!

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    1. Is IS amazing, isn't it? I like to call it divine inspiration, too. =D

      You will LOVE this movie, Valerie, and so will Amy!

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  7. I find it's usually when I go and do something else - like take the dog for a walk - anything that means I stop thinking about the problem. Then something comes to me!

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    1. Walking is such a great way to work through things, too. :)

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