I’ve always hated that expression – mostly because it gets me wondering why I was put in the box to begin with. Yet most of the time our thoughts are boxed in and closed off. They follow predictable paths they’ve gone over before, never looking beyond the obvious. I don’t like boxes. I have a thought bubble but it is just as restrictive (though prettier because it shimmers all different colours when exposed to sunlight).
As writers it is important that we recognise our bubbles and boxes. If we were to write only what we know then we would never leave our bubbles. Our stories would also get very samey very quickly and we would hopefully get bored with writing it and move on. Our characters would also be very much for muchness and have similar motivations and moral values and thought processes because their writer and creator didn’t stop to think outside of their comfort zone.
How can we think outside our bubble?
- Talk to people – all sort of people and find out what they think about things and why.
- Read everything. Doesn’t matter if you are interested in it or not. You may just pick up an idea or two that you had never considered.
- Practise empathising. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to really think how they might see the world. Try to put your preconceptions aside and really feel as though you had lived a different life.
- Sometimes it helps just to turn everything upside down. Whatever you think, write the opposite. You can tone it down later but just practise being the complete opposite of yourself. It helps to start you thinking about all the possibilities in-between.
How do you start thinking outside your bubble/box?
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