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!


  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.

  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.

  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!

  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.