Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How do we find CREATIVE gold?

 Finding Gold Between Our Ears
Ted panning his gold, 1994

 Brains --Wonderful inventions. Our thinkers live somewhere in our brains. And our memory is plugged into the thinker. However our brains work in a non-linear fashion, and our thinkers spit out what the brain sends them.

 Reading about swimming cows on Diana Cranstoun’s blog I ended up thinking about gold in the Yukon Territory here in Canada. How the heck did that happen? Here’s where my thinker went.
  • Those cowboys came from Scotland. (See the last sentence in her blog.)
  • Robert Service came from Scotland.
  • He worked as a cowboy on Vancouver Island.
  • He later worked for a bank.
  • The bank sent him to Dawson City in the Yukon.
  • Working on a ledger in the bank there he glanced down and saw the name, Sam McGee.
  • He stopped working and wrote the now famous poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee.
  • My father used to recite that poem.
  • The actor playing him in Dawson in 1993 and ’94 gave a marvelous recitation.
  • The real Sam McGee is buried in Beiseker, Alberta.
  • We went back in 1994 and worked in Dawson for “the season.” (May to September)
  • Where is that gold bracelet made of the nuggets I got while I was there? 

My Gold. Panned, found or given to me.
But real gold nuggets are a story for another day.

We are not always aware of our thinker leaping along the path of our thoughts. It happens quickly.  As a writer, I find that my story does not evolve in a linear fashion either. I’ve learned to work with it.

When you let your thinker run wild in a good way, you find gold. It happens often when you are showering, washing up walking, running, driving--all those ongoing activities. Notice what's around you and let it ferment and bubble up for your writing.

Morning pages (as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way) AND IN It's Never too Late to Begin Again help capture the steps and idea links. Doing "pages" clarifies my life thoughts and also helps me find the gold I need to enrich my stories.

Ted's Gold, Upper Bonanza Claim, 1994

The world is full of wonderful triggers to stimulate our memories or creative processes. Watch your thinker for a few days. Where does it take your mind and how does it get there? The awareness may surprise you and give you gold.


  1. I've moved my writing-from-prompts to the morning since the new year began. Never thought I'd say I'm a morning person, but I've turned into one. My thinker goes more places then. Learning one's prime time to write is important.

    I'll be watching how I get where I do. Your string of connections was understandable to any writer who's allowed their mind to do that.

    1. Excellent choice - write what your mind cooked up overnight before the crumbs and business of the day bury them! And happy you followed my train of thought. Sometimes I wonder if other people's minds do that.

  2. Hi Mahrie, I also "do" morning pages. They clear my head of all those annoying thoughts and help me focus for the day. As for where my brain goes all often needs corralling.

  3. Yes - our brains - sometimes it feels like we are herding butterflies!