I subscribe to a few author Facebook Pages, but the one most often updated is Ilona Andrews. Today she (or they, not sure who wrote it) mentioned her latest blog post, which talks about writing and inspiration; what to do if you feel stuck. After reading it (you should too!), I found the wallpaper idea to be a really good one. Although it’s a tip that I’ve never come across before, it definitely makes a lot of sense and is something I’ve no doubt I’ll try at some point in the future.
But unlike Ilona Andrews saying to hold the story in your head for a week or two, for me the key is not to wait that long – although I would if the words didn’t come. But as a general rule for myself, as soon as my brain starts forming the first sentence I need to get it on paper, no matter how little of the story is formed in my mind. Otherwise, I’ve found to my dismay, my brain keeps writing it in my head, word by word, and if I wait to mull it over some more then when I come to write it down it’s all gone. My brain has done the writing, and the feeling, and is then reclining in it’s success that now no one else can see – least of all me!
So for me, I let the idea simmer and the random thoughts and plot points jumble around for a while to build up. This could be a few days, normally no longer than a week, but the second that my brain starts thinking “It was a dark and stormy night…” (ok so my brain doesn’t ever think that!) I have to get it down on paper, or napkin, or post it note, or even the back of my hand otherwise *poof*! It’s gone.
Of course, I still have the idea in my head and I always sit and try to write it down, editing over and over because it isn’t flowing right. But I know the end result is always the same, a shadow of it’s former self and then I get annoyed at myself for not writing the words when they first came to me.
So, now I make sure to always have something nearby to write on – normally my phone – so when I wake up at 2:30am thinking “It was a dark and stormy night…” (ok really, I never think that!) then I can just jot it down and both my brain and I can recline with smug smiles on our faces.
…Brains totally have faces :/