Monday, June 29, 2009

More Sweat than Talent

How does that old saying go? 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration. I think that's it. It makes a heck of a lot of sense, right? I've always been told by writing teachers and read on others' blogs that you have to persevere. I like that. I have perseverence. Atleast with writing. And my kids, but you kind of have to keep them around, huh?

But, what happens if you're inspired a lot more than you put in? I have that problem continuously. I have so many story ideas and then often, can't finish them.

With my first novel, which still requires polishing, I had to literally put blinders on to my other ideas. For me, that was where a lot of the perspiring came in. Keeping on with the task at hand and not flipflopping. Oh, I wrote about the other inspirations in my little Hemingway notebook. By the way, if you don't have one, I highly recommend one. They make you feel like a writer by just forking over your $14. But, back to the ideas. As soon as I get another idea, I'd write it on my "Ideas for Novels" page. If I saw someone walking by who was interesting, I'd record their habits in my "Ideas for Characters" page. And, as I've done several times, if I had ideas for both, that inspiration got it's very own section.

I have three such full ideas now. And, several months ago when I believed I was finished with my first book, after typing "The End", I turned to that black book and chose the one that wouldn't stop nagging me. Then I went back to my 1st book and tweeked it some. Then back to the new one which was just still forming. And so on.

What is my point in all this? I think it is to say that you can't let any ideas fly away. You have to write them down; consider them. For me, writing them down is what makes them concrete. I have a small tape recorder for those times where I am in the car, on the highway, and unable to write or I would put my kids in danger. I've never checked that recorder once. If I record it, I remember it. And, my remembering anything I haven't written down is a big deal!

Don't loose your steam while you are working on another project. Ideas don't wait for you to type "The End". You have to see them when they are in front of you, record them and say thank you to the idea gods.

I now have two fully developed ideas to choose from. Eventhough a few months ago, I had only one nagging me, now the other is too. How do you choose? Is this where the lopsided formula of perspiration comes in?

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. I feel your pain. I keep a journal of my ideas. If it won't go away, then I see where it will go. Sometimes it turns into something, other times, it fizzles.