Friday, February 24, 2012

Accepting the Flow of Ideas

I have recently been blessed with two ideas for books that just took off. The first was The Great Twitter Adventure, a novella inspired by a blog post I’d done back in August. The story came to me nearly whole and I wrote it over a three-day weekend. In the second instance, I was spurred on by several questions from my friends on Twitter (and even outside of Twitter) as to how I was accumulating so many followers so fast. Again, I sat down and wrote a short guidebook over a weekend.

I used to be so rigid in what I considered my writing “schedule” that I didn’t allow for these moments of being hit by literary lightening (have I mentioned that I love alliteration?). Some part of me felt like I wasn’t being loyal to the lineup of stories in my brain. It was truly a mental block that truly got in the and here’s why.

I still have to finish my sequel to my first novel, Red Mojo Mama. That’s at least a 250 page project – probably more like 300. This takes much more coordination and effort to complete, let alone the time involved, than pumping out a 60-page novella that simply flows from my fingers to the keyboard - likewise, a 20-page guidebook. Had I chosen to wait and finish the sequel first I would have lost the freshness and simplicity of completing two relatively easy publications.

So, I’ve learned from these two experiences. I will put the more involved project on the back burner if I have an easier and perhaps more urgent mission to complete. It is not disloyal!

The only drawback here – and something I have to track internally – is the tendency to avoid the longer, heavier project because it seems so daunting sometimes. I listen to myself to make sure that I’m doing something first because that’s the smart thing to do, rather than because it’s the easy thing to do.

So, I would urge anyone that has a pressing idea to consider putting it first and then returning to the tougher project when the time is right. Just be cautious of the lazy bug!

4 comments:

  1. When people say there's so much to learn as a writer, I think, and maybe mercifully so, we have no idea how much "so" and "much" there is. All revelations are welcomed. Thank you, my dear.

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  2. I agree Kathy. We as writers are involved in an art form and although at times having a methodology for putting words on paper is important it is the inspirational drive that must be the central focus.

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  3. It's all a learning process, isn't it? Nothing's ever easy, but we eventually learn what works and what doesn't. Good write, Kathy!

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  4. I find helps to put certain manuscripts away for a while. They never leave my thoughts. I find other subjects while waiting for things to mature.

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