Thursday, 10 April 2014

Ideas and Inspiration

Being part of a local writer's group has been a fascinating experience for me. It has given me additional confidence, enabled me to get involved in discussions on writing, publishing and self-publishing and I've made some new friends all who love what I love. Yay!

What I have found interesting is that although we all share a love of writing, we write in quite different ways. The group runs at our local library and each time we are given some homework to complete before the next meeting. One gentleman says that often by the time he reaches his car outside in the car park (less than a five minute walk away), he already has the ideas sprouting in his head for his next story and his homework is almost complete other than him putting pen to paper or hands to laptop to write it down. I, on the other hand, tend to mull the exercise over and over in my mind and often the exact idea doesn't arrive until the day before or sometimes even on the day of the next meeting itself. For me, it's almost like once I sit down to write and the pressure builds the ideas arrive. Yet for him, he has hundreds of ideas all competing against one another everyday. I can't imagine what that must be like. It sounds wonderful, but perhaps it has it's own complications, like deciding which ideas to use and work on. 

I often find that once I have the first sentence in mind, then I'm fine or that some random words may appear in my head and want to lead me somewhere. I really must write those words down when they appear. They often come just before I am fully awake in the morning and drift in and out of my mind.  I think to myself that I'll remember that and write it down when I wake up properly and then of course when I do, it's often gone.  Although today, I did remember a title for a book of short stories. I don't have the stories yet, but I love the title of the book.  Better get busy with some more ideas and inspiration for those stories.

If you do find coming up with ideas challenging then there are some websites that can help you. One of my favourites is Morgen Bailey's site - yes that is Morgen with an E.  Everyday without fail, Morgen sends out an email once you're subscribed or updates her Facebook page with prompts to help you write. She gives several prompts including random words, a picture and a starting sentence. She encourages you to write for fifteen minutes on one or all of her prompts and it can be a great starting point for a short story or a piece of flash fiction. You can also post your results on her site. I posted one of mine and she contacted me about putting it up as part of her Flash Fiction site.  If you'd like to take a read of it, you can find the link here. She also covers lots of different aspects of writing and her site is a wealth of information.  You can find her site by clicking here.

If you'd like to share your own ways of generating ideas and how you get inspired, then naturally I'd love to hear them. Perhaps you like to be in a certain space or use a special pen? It seems that us writers have a lot of rituals around writing. Interesting - maybe that's another future post - Writing Rituals. Watch this space...



18 comments:

  1. I'm in awe of people who have the inspiration and ideas to write books, collections of stories etc.

    Visiting from A-Z Challenge

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    1. I know. Still I'm very glad they do as I love to read. Maybe it's one of those the more you practise, the better you become things. Although each day of this challenge, I still have to sit and think about what to write each day.

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  2. My speciality is half-formed ideas. I have a good number of stories half-written, that are effectively scenarios or beginnings needing direction or action. I ask myself, "what happens next?" and reply with a Gallic shrug. I'll crack it. I have time.
    Visiting from A-Z challenge

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    1. Half formed is good. At least you have something to work from. I like the what happens next, what if questioning style. I've found that to be useful myself. Good luck with your writing journey and thanks for dropping by.

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  3. My ideas usually come from real life situations when I ask "what if?" My mind takes off and builds on the scenario. And I'm guilty of letting those perfect words slip away, too. Jotting them down later rarely works for me :)

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    1. I know - why do we let them slip away? We'll have to try and be more disciplined and get them into a notebook or journal.

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  4. I envy people who find ideas, inspiration, and writing easy! I have to be in the right mindset, have the time, and no stress. Lately, things aren't going as planned and my WIP has been on hold while I get my life back together after reaching a really dark place. I've been writing, though, but not on my fiction. I've been working through my emotions as a caregiver. :)

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

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    1. Hi Jamie, glad to hear that you still have your writing. I've found it very reassuring and calming during difficult times.

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  5. Isn't it amazing how we all go about it in our own ways. Sometimes I have a little bit of both ways you described. There are about a hundred ideas fighting for me to pay attention in my head, but even after I choose one to work on, I like to mull it over for a while before I start. Often I'll stop in the middle to stew it out a bit more. I believe taking that time makes the actual writing better.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Charity. I like your approach as I like to mull over things too if I can and I'm not right pressed up against the deadline. Even when I've read a piece out at the writing group, I often go back and revisit it and make some changes. There seems to be something helpful in reading it out loud to others that helps with the adjustments required.

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  6. Enjoyed this piece. I'm one of those people who has lots of ideas and also likes to write prompts, am always working at flexibility. In the rare cases where I am stuck for ideas, I read old newspapers online. Invariably, that gets the ideas moving again.

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    1. Like the newspaper idea Tonia. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I posted on inspiration, too. LOL I use pictures mostly.

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    1. Must get a chance to read your piece. Always seem to be behind at the moment.Thanks for dropping by and making a comment.We've used pictures at the writing group before and it worked very well.

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  8. Ideas come easily. It is getting them down on paper that comes hard. I am always second guessing myself.

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    1. How lovely that the ideas come easily, but then there's your hurdle of getting them down on paper. It seems there's often something getting in our way. Best of luck going forward.

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  9. I used to struggle with this. So, I read other books, write in spurts even if doesn't read well at first (Yup, some of my first drafts are really horrible!), and more ideas come.

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    1. Good idea and good to hear that more ideas come from your way of working. Good luck with your writing journey.

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