ideas and ice cream

Projects often start with a brainstorming session and a whiteboard. It helps to give a client choices along the way rather than asking a vague “What do you want?” For instance, if developing a website, the choices for the background could be classic white, familiar neutrals, or a surprising color.

When a writer starts a new book, staring at a blank page can also be daunting. The same method can be used to make decisions, similar to building an ice cream sundae with classic, familiar, or surprise options: Continue reading

open source and oceans

Open source software features a source code which any user can modify. This collaboration offers more stability and innovation than closed source software.

Similarly, authors share a source code. We live on the same planet, absorbing ideas from the world around us. Of course, copying the work of others is illegal and immoral, but it’s not uncommon for authors to share an inspiration. We’re all swimming in the same “idea ocean.” Continue reading

ducks and debugging

Just like writers, software developers can get stuck when their program runs into an issue. When all other debugging methods have failed, one trick is bringing in a rubber duck.  Explain to the duck what the code should be doing and what is happening instead. Sometimes saying it out loud suddenly makes the solution obvious.

The same tactic can be used for writers. If your story has stalled, bring in help to talk things out, even if it’s a rubber duck. Describe where your story is and where you want it to go. Speaking aloud can make the problem clear or spark an idea. Continue reading