Don’t give in to Adventure Deficit Disorder

Posted: 16 March, 2012 in inspiration, writing
Tags: , , ,

Writing is like an adventure. I never know where I’m going to end up at the end of the day. I can start my morning on one story or column idea and when I’ve finished, it is so far removed from where I began it amazes me.

I guess that’s why the great writers say the best advice is to write every day, regardless of whether you feel like it or not.  They know that it’s only in actually sitting down and writing that the creativity flows. Sometimes when I’m facing the keyboard (or blank page) I have no idea what I’m going to write that day. But the more I write, the more ideas come to mind.

Once I have started writing for the day, however, I find it so easy to be sidetracked with other ideas that can make me lose focus on where I am now.  I know exactly what I want to write but with these other ideas fighting for space on the page I have to decide – Do I stay on my original path and finish this story or column first?  Or do I go off on another adventure and see where this new idea might take me?

Sticking to a plan is important for any writer. But being able to see when a new, sometimes better, path comes into view is also crucial to a writer’s success.  Choosing to play it safe each time can lead to what Barbara Winter calls Adventure Deficit Disorder.  She defines an adventure as “any undertaking the outcome of which cannot be know at the outset”.  This is why writing, to me, can be such a great adventure. Instead of starting with the end in mind, which many writers do, I sometimes have nothing in mind  at all.  I can start writing and have no idea where I’m going to end up. I love that!

I also like exploring different writing styles. I don’t normally write poetry. I’m not good at it and my poor efforts make me feel like I’m a terrible writer.  But I sometimes write it anyway because I never know when I might actually find something halfway decent in my poems.  Sometimes I’ll write a short story based on a subject I don’t usually explore or an era I know nothing about.  Or I’ll re-write an ending to a book I wasn’t happy with.  These writing adventures make me feel like I’m learning so much about myself as a writer. It’s exciting.

So, on with today’s adventure.  I have no idea where I’m going to end up.  I don’t even know, at this stage, where I’m going to start.  But I’m going to have a hell of a lot of fun exploring whatever new ground I discover along the way.

  1. I know exactly what you mean, I started this morning with one article in mind and I had three in hand ( on totally different topics) by the time I was done. I still have to do the original one.

    • RickyB says:

      LOL! I love days like that. It’s amazing how many ideas writers can have in just one writing session. I’m in awe of anyone who can follow up on all of them. I admit I can get a bit overwhelmed sometimes. And yet at other times I will end the day with nothing more than what I started with. I guess that’s the adventure downfall – sometimes I find myself visiting the same place over and over again. But I still love it anyway.

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