|Using your mirror as a storyboard often opens up the mind to new possibilities.|
I’m a girl. That much is pretty obvious. So it should come as no surprise that I spend a good deal of time standing in front of my bathroom mirror. What might strike a casual observer as unusual is what I do while I’m there.
Yes, I fight with my hair. I futz with my makeup. I spend far more time scrutinizing my appearance than I probably need to. But I also use that time to plan out new ideas and work through trouble spots in one of my current projects, which is why I always keep a wet/dry marker next to my mascara.
You see: I use my mirror as a storyboard.
I’m not completely unique in this eccentric behavior. It wasn’t long ago that another writer friend of mine posted that she’d found a new use for her kid’s bathtub crayons while she was taking her shower that morning. There’s just something about our toilette time that allows our minds to wander without outside distractions. It’s one of the few places we go without our phones, our laptops, or our clients (Though family and pets are another matter.)
Add to that is a sense of freedom when writing on a mirror. No paper is wasted. No delete key is necessary. You can jot down random ideas and walk away without wondering later what happened to those hastily scribbled remarks. There are also no boundaries. You can write whatever, wherever, and if you don’t like something a simple spray of glass cleaner allows you to start with a clean slate.
I’ve also noticed that when I work things out on the mirror I look at things from numerous different angles. I ask more what-ifs. I take more risks. And when I’ve finished I have a complete outline that makes writing the scene (or blog post) a simple matter of typing up the rest.
Don’t have a mirror handy? Try a whiteboard. I have one by my stove to jot ideas on when cooking. Though it’s currently covered in random quotes my siblings have written on it when visiting, the concept is exactly the same. You can write with no rules, no deadlines, no pressure.
The truth is, no writer is ever not working on one project or another. And sometimes we just get too many different thoughts going at once to make sense of them. Getting the half-formed ideas out while getting ready for work or bed is part of the fun. Putting them on a mirror reminds me later on what I was thinking and serves as motivation to get back to work when I spend too much time procrastinating. (After all, how am I going to make sure my makeup is evenly applied and each hair is in place if I can’t see myself past the words?)
Why not give it a try for yourself this week? Grab a marker, jot down a couple ideas while going through your morning routine, then walk away and give them a chance to grow.
Just be warned: If you have other people living with you, they may decide to join in on the fun and turn your Os into Js!