I’m in love with brainstorming. Especially with other peeps. For me, it’s often the brilliance of brainstorming that gets me back on my creativity track.

I had two experiences of the brilliance of brainstorming yesterday—I feel so lucky!

Group Genius

One of the best things about in-person critiquing and workshopping is what happens when creative minds bounce off each other. At my in-person picture book critique group, we had time for some discussion at the end about my manuscript. Someone said something, then I said something, then someone said something else and voila! I had a wonderful way transition my story in the place where everyone had seen a problem. I look forward to working on that later today.

Agent Awesomeness

The second brilliant brainstorming came during a call with my agent yesterday afternoon. She would say she didn’t do anything, but she did. She’s brilliant at asking the right questions—both in feedback on my manuscripts and in prompting me to think outside the box of my own making.

As we discussed a picture book manuscript that we both loved but seemed to have lost its way, I mentioned how it had started with a title and I was rather obsessed with the title. My agent agreed it was very appealing and then asked me, “So what comes to mind when you hear the title?”

What a great question! No pressure, just think of ideas. One came immediately to mind and we both loved it. But then I sighed. “That means losing one of my favorite scenes in the current version.”

“Yes, that scene is hilarious! But maybe you can repurpose it somehow.”

And suddenly I was off with another idea!

Now I’m really jazzed about a brand new direction for a story that I loved, but had begun to feel forced and unfocused. It means starting over, but the ideas are flowing and I can’t wait to get started. That is a very different feeling from getting close to dread about revising the current version. Yay!

What about you? Do you have a brilliant brainstorming success story? Let’s hear it!