How many times have you sat behind a blank computer screen, staring into the depths of the white page and felt like the blinking cursor was mocking you? Yeah, I’ve been there a time or two. So how do you come up with that gripping idea that will send thousands of great ideas swirling around in that little brain of yours?
I’ve read that anything in life can be used as inspiration. A dew kissed flower on a spring morning, a doe standing in a rolling meadow, a high speed chase through your town or a silly joke your child told you as they bounced on your bed. Whatever sparks your interest can be used, but maybe it won’t fit into your current story. So my advice, start a file. I know, I know…some of us are not that organized, but even a disorganized file can be a life saver later in your writing career.
Write down the dreams that inspire you. Most people forget their dreams by the time they wake up, but occasionally one will linger in the recesses of your consciousness. Those can be prefect starting points. Keep a notebook next to your bed. When those early morning dreams wake you, sneak into the bathroom, turn on the light and write every detail you can remember. The story will come later, but if you get the essence of the dream down on paper then you can always pull those images up again later.
Once you have your idea, do what your English teacher made you do in school, brainstorm! See, and you thought you would never need anything you learned in school! Brainstorming is a writer’s best friend. Once I started writing my own stories I found this to be exciting instead of mind numbingly boring.
So you’ve got your ideas…now what? Write! And then write some more!
I’m a passionate writer. When an idea hits I am consumed with it until it’s all written down. Sometimes that might only take 10 minutes, but other times it can be a 3 day project. I grab 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there throughout my busy day to jot down my ideas. Keeping a notebook nearby at all times is a must. I’ve found my most creative time is late at night. If I don’t write it down, it’s lost!
If you are a beginner then start small. Focus on writing something each day. It could be a poem, a short story or maybe just a couple paragraphs. Writing is like any other job, you have to perfect your skill before you can join the big leagues.
Think about joining a writer’s group, to not only get support but also constructive criticism. In my writer’s group we are given homework each month. I know what you’re thinking….is there a test at the end? Nope! This is an exercise to get your brain working, nothing more.
You can do it at home. Think of a name of a person and a place….then create a short story from that. You decide the date, the life story of your character, the trials they must face and create a real or fantastical world for them to live in. There is no right or wrong answer. Just give it a try and see what happens. Who knows, you might have just found the basis for a new book!
Words of wisdom for the day: never give up on an idea just because it seems stupid. Some of the greatest ideas have been formed, not from a brilliant idea, but from hard work and creativity! Write down anything that pops into your mind and see where it takes you.