Brain Salad – My process


I’m a tosser. I get snippets of ideas, accept them into my mind and toss around the idea, watching it blend in with the other ideas, often turning itself into a bigger concept, or even a plan of action. Throughout my life I have said “I’m tossing the idea around”, and this past year or so have come to see it as part of my writing ritual, my process. I actually have a mental picture of me taking two spoons and tossing the ideas around like one would a salad.

The thing about my brain salad is, I have all this lettuce. Immense amounts of lettuce of all different sorts. These are the things I see on a day-to-day basis. An example? I walk along the boardwalk and see a little kid digging a hole in the sand. As that lettuce tosses around in my brain, I throw in some other more flavorful vegetables… tomatoes, cucumbers… and watch that lettuce form into its own salad.

An example? What is she digging for? Remains of ancient civilizations? This tidbit, (or, tomato if you will) transforms itself into an archeological dig, in the imagination of the character in my children’s series. Add in my love of all things Ancient Egypt and now you have my girl at the beach, digging around and sweeping herself into a dig in Egypt, and well… I don’t want to give away the whole story!

I follow this ‘brain salad’ process with everything. Writing, marketing, personal growth, and even relationships.

It has been most useful for those times when I get stuck. It’s the key in overcoming the dreaded writer’s block. Often I find the ideas just need a bit more tossing around before they are ready to make it onto the page.

And that is where I find myself today. Tossing. Instead of dreading it and feeling blocked, I’m excited to see how the ideas will come out.

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3 comments on “Brain Salad – My process

  1. Lisa says:

    I love the way you think!

    Sometimes my problem is that I feel overwhelmed with the other salad fixings that toss themselves into my salad, but I’m working on using a writer’s notebook to keep better track and not get lost in a sea of veggies. 🙂

    • Thank you Lisa! I agree, veggies can be totally overwhelming at times!

      Notebooks… I have a medium sized notebook next to my laptop that I often jot ideas and such down in. I did find a great program the other day called “Master Writer” that has a ten day free trial. Here’s a link. 🙂

  2. Barbara M says:

    I love this Michelle! Loved the analogy you used of tossing your ideas around in your head like a salad. I often do the same thing, ideas and thoughts floating around all the time – new ones absorbed in daily and not sure how or when they will come out; either in written form or through some act I may perform as I go about my day. Thank you for sharing. I too shall now go about tossing the salad in my head 🙂

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