Again!

August 26, 2009

I got another shiny new idea. It now has a home in my notebook, two to-do lists away from the last one. This is fun, but I’m starting to wonder if my brain is generating new stuff to keep me from making progress on the not-so-new. On the other hand, I’m glad I’ve been capturing these thoughts as they fly by. Organizing my mental fluff, giving it a purpose, and setting it down in words can only be good for me.

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Sink Demon and the Stars

April 15, 2009

I went looking for an idea yesterday. I thought about searching my folders and floppies for a short story I started in college and never finished. It starts with a demon made of food scraps taking up residence in a clogged sink. Fun idea, but an old one for me.

When I was a kid, playing in backyards and down in the canyon, I was the Idea Girl. I had so many that the other kids got sick to death of me always being in charge, just because I was always the one who came up with stuff. In the six years between “Hi, nice sandbox,” and then, we were living my stories. We’d have adventures down trails and up trees. We’d hide in the bushes from our enemies. We’d battle together as sister-warriors. We traveled beyond the stars.

Now what?

I sit down at the computer because it’s Writing Time, and I come up with… a memory? Something I’ve already done? Again? What happened to my fiction? What happened to talking two or three other girls up into a tree and convincing them they were discovering new planets? Where are the damn planets? I had them over a decade ago, surely they’re still lying around…

And maybe that’s it. Back then, I had nothing to do but keep myself and everyone from getting bored enough to fight. We spent every blessed day together, and every day it was either New Game or Whose Turn is it to Run Inside Crying. High stakes + limitless time = lots of practice.

In college, I signed up for anything that would give me a creative writing assignment and a deadline. I didn’t have to take those classes; I was a business major. I just didn’t like going a whole term with no writing. Pretty soon, I was coming up with stories and characters left, right and center. I had a garbage disposal demon… that’s definitely an idea, and I’m pretty sure it’s original.

The components of my past idea generation have been: practice, pressure, and an audience. I’m scheduling the first at a steady and soon-to-be increasing pace. You’re helping with the second by providing public accountability. As for audience… yes, I have a small group of readers, but what you read is not fiction. Would you like it to be? Let me know. Meanwhile, I’ll start checking out writer’s groups in my area. As always, dedication and persistence are key to any endeavor. You can learn more about that from Chris Guillebeau here.