I am sure we all have been told to approach something with an “open mind,” at some point in our lives. For me, I often will hear this before I read something and before I watch a movie. I hear people say things such as, be open-minded, and be sure to put your predispositions aside when watching/reading this, and take it for what it is.

I think this is incredibly helpful advice when you are consuming any type of art—whether it is film, literature, music, etc.—but what about when you are the one creating the art? I think it is just as important to be open-minded when creating your own story, song, etc. and to not go in thinking something like, this is how I want the story to end no matter what, or something of that nature.

I realized this when I was finishing a story I wrote the other day. While I wrote it, I had an idea for an ending in mind, but I was not 100% sure exactly how I wanted to get there. As I wrote and wrote, a different ending came to mind that I had not thought of until that very moment. For the last 100-200 words of so, I went with that and I am much more pleased with how it is now than how it otherwise would have been.

Don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly important to know what you want to do with a story when you are writing it. Having a concept that you can work with, a plot, characters, etc. are all essential to a story, and it would be hard to write a story that makes sense if you had no idea of the direction you wanted it all to go

For me at least, I found that there are moments throughout a story where an idea strikes you, and instead of brushing it aside and forgetting about it, you should go for it. See what happens, and if it sucks, oh well—you can go back and change it. But it could turn into something that makes the story much better than it was initially, and it could be easily forgotten if you don’t try it when the idea pops into your head.

So, be sure to be open-minded when watching movie or reading a story, but when you are the creator, do the same. You could really surprise yourself with the result.

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