Welcome back to another Sensual Sunday. This weeks post is all about ideas. Where they come from, what makes them happen and how I use them. Not that all ideas have merit or will work, but getting them – that inspiration – is half the battle.
A few weeks back I was in my bank discussing a few things with my financial adviser and we were just shooting the breeze while she did her thing on the computer. The topic about what we do in our non-work time came up and I mentioned that I write romance. After the initial surprise cleared she leaned in and asked “How do you come up with story ideas? I mean, I can barely find a new way to spice up dinner and here you are writing books, as in more than one!”
It made me think, and I had to admit to her that it’s not always easy to come up with something fresh and new. But as a creative individual (author, sculptor, musician, whatever) you have to be open to everything around you for inspiration. I’ve had ideas leap at me from the most mundane of tasks or conversations. I’ve even had a spot of inspiration kick in from song lyrics or a particular image, or meme on social media that caught my attention.
I’ve had stories inspired by reading the works of other authors. Something they wrote got the muse up and the ideas churning taking a different spin on a single sentence and making it grow. I’ve had ideas pop up from seeing a commercial, a billboard, and overhearing conversations of strangers on the street and public transportation. Most times I don’t even realize where the idea originated from because by the muse taps me on the shoulder, so to speak, it could be minutes, hours or days later.
I have also found that if I don’t write it down then I forget it. With the amount of information I have running around in my brain at any given moment, my job demands having a damn good memory, that momentary flash of brilliance can quickly get lost under everything else. So I jot myself a note, or put it into my phone. I have a “Note” specifically for any thought, piece of conversation, something I read that intrigued me.
Not that everything turns into a story. Hell no!
If that were the case I’d have a lot more books out than I currently do. But then again, I also don’t know when that momentary flash of intrigue I had back in May 2015 might be useful so I keep it in my “Note” for future use. It could be used as a plot, a conversation topic, or merely a side note one character has that adds that special something to my story. Who knows.
But I dutifully jot it down and revisit the list whenever I’m struggling to come up with a new story line or series.
Last thing before I let you go for the remainder of your weekend. If you are truly interested in making writing your career let yourself off the hook occasionally. Pressure will only stifle your creativity and make discovering what inspires you harder. And there’s no one out there that puts more pressure on us than ourselves. Don’t be that person. Realize that you, and every other author out there, occasionally needs to take a step back and let things come at their own pace.
Have yourself a wonderful Sunday & be inspired ~ XO Moira Callahan