I often wonder where the inspiration for my stories come from. And yes, I’m aware that I get ideas just about anywhere and at any time, even when I’m half asleep or at a party or simply talking to a friend. But where do these ideas come from? And will they dry up one day?
When working on a project, I love when words flow through my fingers onto the computer screen. I love when I get so caught up in the development of the story or characters that time seems to fly. If I stop to think of how this is happening, it’s like a lid comes over my brain and the ideas screech to a halt, so I’ve learned to put my curiosity on the side burner.
The thing is that at times I do get stuck. I get to the point when I wonder if my WIP (Work In Progress) is valid. I doubt I’ll ever figure out what should happen next. I think my characters are flat and that I’m wasting my time.
This is lovingly called ‘writer’s block’.
And the more I try to become ‘unblocked’ and force the story, the tighter the lid seems to fit. So I’ve also learned to LET GO.
This is hard but it’s what works best for me.
First I write down what I want to accomplish in a particular chapter or scene then walk away and let my subconscious do the work. Examples of some of these questions are: What should come next? What do I want to say or achieve? What is the purpose of this chapter? Invariably the answers always come, albeit in their own time.
It’s interesting and a bit scary, because I realize I’m not 100% in control here. I don’t believe my story ideas are locked in a file in my physical brain. It’s hard to describe but I feel that ideas are all around me (all around us) waiting for me to tune into them; and the best way to do that is to relax and send my doubt, fear and stress on long, glorious vacations.
So where does that leave me?
I no longer question this aspect of myself any more. I’m grateful that my brain is wired to receive the ideas and thoughts that come. I love that I can write and create stories that people (and especially kids) like.
It’s a journey, with hills and mountains and rough seas to cross. But the rewards are worth it.
"A lot of people in this world hear voices in their minds. Some are called crazy, and they lock themselves away in little rooms where they bang their heads against the wall all day. The others are called writers and they pretty much do the same thing." ~Marion Steiger~