Storystorm 2021 Day 6: Samantha Berger Lets it Out, Releases Ideas, & Lays Down Some Inspiration
by Samantha Berger
Did I just name this post with a whole bunch of poop and potty puns?
Yes. Yes, I did.
And it’s not just because my latest book is called THE GREAT BIG POOP PARTY!
It’s because ideas, inspiration, and freedom need to…you know…move and flow freely!
Just like certain (…ahem…) other things.
So let’s get right into it.
Here are the TOP TEN WAYS I GET MY BRAIN TO LET IT ALL OUT, RELEASE THE IDEAS, and LAY DOWN SOME FRESH IDEAS!
(poop puns, again)
So…get a load of this:
10. Go play.
Build a sandcastle, bust out the Legos, doodle all over a cardboard box. Play with no stakes, no intended audience, and with nothing precious. Just PLAY. You wanna tell stories and connect with kids – go play like one. Pronto!
9. Make a list of words you love: hassenpfeffer, canoodle, gallop!
Jam out a list of words and rediscover your love of language. Cue the heavenly choir and behold…LANGUAGE!
8. Give yourself a short, fun warmup to do every day.
Again, pick one that’s FUN and not a pain in the butt, and hold yourself to it. Make up a new nail polish color name. Give yourself a new pseudonym: Samantha Berger aka Samdemic, aka Bergé, aka Bergermeister MeisterBerger aka The Impossible Berger, etc. Write a daily Postcard from the Pandemic: “Well, this still sucks. xox, me.” Whatever! Nothing stinks more than having to write something you dread. So write something you LOVE and you’ll be inspired to do it.
7. Shift your perspective. I mean literally. Find a way to look at the room like you never have before. This perspecto-shift does something GOOD to your brain.
6. Pick an inanimate object in your home, personify it, and write a paragraph from its point of view.
5. Pretend there is a five-year-old in the room, and tell them a story.
4. Think about one incident that happened when you were a kid, that helped inform who you are today. Write that down.
3. Pick one song you LOVE to sing, and sing it reeeeeally loudly.
This literally opens up your VOICE and opening your voice, gets you open to your VOICE! Duh.
2. Make up a reeeeeally dramatic telenovela about the squirrels and pigeons you see every day.
1. And the number one way to tap ideas and stay inspired is…
Truthbomb: your Inner Editor is a total bummer.
They second-guess every choice you make, always wondering if things could be better, or if you’re choosing the right word, action, character.
They thoroughly impede the whole storytelling flow, leaving you creatively constipated.
Soooo (and I cannot stress this enough) don’t bring them to your Storystorm Party.
Park them in a corner, lock them in a box, send them out for pizza—whatever it takes to keep them away, so you can let your freak flag fly.
You’re going to have your BEST brainstorms, ideajams, and breakthroughs without them. I promise.
They can always come in later with their red pens and harsh judgements, but not now!
I hope this list helps the ideas flow, helps you GO, and brings you LOADS of brand new ideas. I hope it was engrossing, but you know, not enGROSSing.
I want to thank the beyond kind Tara Lazar, as always, for having me guestblurt, and for doing this entire thing SO generously to help raise funds for Blessings in a Backpack (which helps feed children so profoundly in need). Tara is an angel with a kicktuchas sense of humor—ideal combo. I am also thrilled to give away a signed copy of my latest book THE GREAT BIG POOP PARTY—because if ever there was a time to (ahem) let it out and (ahem) release your inner genius and (ahem) stay regular(ly) writing—it is NOW!
May you have buttloads of brilliant ideas.
All my Bergerly best wishes,
Samantha is the award-winning author of over 85 books for young readers, including Crankenstein (illustrated by Dan Santat), What If…(illustrated by Mike Curato) and Rock What Ya Got (illustrated by Kerascoët). She is also a 3-time Emmy-nominated television writer, and just wrote The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley & Friends. Samantha lives in sunny Santa Monica with her dog Polly Pocket.
You read it above, Samantha is giving away a copy of THE GREAT BIG POOP PARTY!
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Source: Writing Competition