Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ideas - what do you do with yours?

I felt like a coffee percolator driving home from University last night. So many exciting ideas bubbling up! The one to one session with Sara Grant, and her feedback on my work was amazing. Then I had a teaching session on writing for young readers.  So many thoughts. So many possible best sellers. I could see the book. I could see the cartoon. And I didn't write any of them down. 

Sara recommends that all writers should be making a list of three or four ideas a day. She pops hers down on her phone. She doesn't believe that there is such a thing as a bad idea or a silly idea. She  lists everything.

I don't regularly record every idea I have because I think most of them are stupid. Sometimes I'm excited about an idea for a couple of minutes until I realised that actually the idea has been done before.
I get a great deal of pleasure from letting my ideas play out in my mind. But, and this is a shocking admission for someone who claims to love writing, I'm too lazy to write the story.

The idea of just writing a list of ideas on my phone is quite liberating. Best of all, it sounds easy! Right? 

I woke up at 6:20 this morning. I was pondering the idea of guinea pigs being the intelligence department, I picked up my iPad to write it down, but stopped. I thought about G - Force, a film about guinea pigs spies. I don't want to copy an idea. 

The rot has set in, my next idea was to stupid, my next idea was too weird.

I had fallen back into the trap of self editing before anything even hits the page. 

'Write down every idea' seems to be a lot more difficult than it sounds.

It's hard because once again I'm am trying to get out of a 'want to be a writer' habit and developing a habit that an already successful writer uses. More mental training I think to get to my goals.


  1. I don't write down all my ideas, but I do have a string of notebooks for them. Often it will only be character names, book titles. Other times, it's whole synopses. Some are rubbish, most actually, but I think the process of writing them down helps you to connect to the next idea which might be better. Also, deep down, I think my writing has a tendency to take on a surreal/fairy-tale-like edge. I've been tempering it thus far, but maybe one day I'll just go ahead and write that weird novel no one wants to read, just for my own benefit.

  2. Do you ever go back and look at your idea books? Mine tend to get lost and thrown away :(