Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Empty Well

Holy cow! It's been a week since I last posted? How did that happen? I had it in my mind that I had posted on Wednesday last week. I didn't realize it was clear last Monday. So sorry! (That sort of shows what last week was like.)

I've been pretty much empty of blog post ideas anyway. But on the plus side, I've been chock full of great plot ideas. I think that's a pretty good trade-off.

I know there are some of you writers out there who are brimming with ideas all the time. People who have so many all at once that they can't decide what to write first.

That's great, but...it sure isn't me. Ideas tend to come to me in a slow trickle. And sometimes I have to dig pretty deep to find any at all.

Do you ever have that problem? I know there are ideas all over. Everywhere. In every conversation, in every place you go, in everyone you meet. I see them, but the vast majority just don't speak to me.

Oh, what a joy it is to find one that does. The idea that makes me sit up and go, "Yes! I can't wait to write that!" So, I'll trade off blog post ideas for story ideas any day.

What about you? Do ideas come to you in a flood or a trickle? Any tricks for getting the flow going?

26 comments:

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Yes, plot ideas vs. blog posts, better to have a good number of the former.

samuelloveland.com said...

For me it helps to keep an eye out for "zing"; John Brown talks about this on his blog, but I'm not talking about these HUGE revelations of story ideas. Just little things that make you go, "ooh..."

If you can keep track of your zing, in an idea journal or something like that, you won't forget them and they'll be available for later use.

The other thing that helps me is to write regularly, even if that regularly is just once a week. I can usually find at least one thing a week that I can toss into a writing session, something I actually went through that makes it a little more real.

Jolene Perry said...

Back and forth.
Mostly a flood.
But in every project, my flood slows to a trickle at between 25 and 35,000 words.

Hard.

I use chocolate and good music :D

lbdiamond said...

My ideas are far and few between, but when one strikes, it gets me right between the eyes every single time. I generally yelp, then say, "cool!" Then I obsess about it for weeks.

Stephanie McGee said...

It seems like the ideas always come when I'm already writing something. So I take 20 minutes or so to jot that out as much as the muse would like (plot ideas, setting ideas, etc) and set it aside. If it's still grabbing me when I finish the current project I'll set into it.

If not, then it just goes in the whim ideas box. The idea has to really grab me by the throat for me to actually set about writing it.

logankstewart said...

I have so many ideas it's hard for me to actually ever finish a story, for I get swayed by other things. It's disappointing to put 25k words into something that just sits abandoned...

As for getting started, I love just writing stream-of-consciousness style. Just make some sort of output for a bit before diving into the meat.

Angie said...

I agree, Terry. Much better.

Samuel, I love finding the "zing." Writing them down is such a good idea.

Laura, I know what you mean about obsessing. I get that way too.

Thanks all for stopping by today!

Charity Bradford said...

Whether the ideas come as a trickle or a deluge, they always come at times when I can't get to a pen!

:) Glad you have lots of story ideas right now.

Diane said...

Sometimes a key phrase will come to me and I immediately write it down so I don't forget it. My ideas seems to come in spurts too. :O)

AstonWest said...

It varies...sometimes I have a flood of ideas come across, and others (like at the moment), my mind is too focused on the task at hand (getting a draft completed on a new novel) for almost anything else to crack through.

Christine Rains said...

Sometimes they come in a flood. Usually those are the times I'm busy and don't have the time to deal with them! Other times, I'm pretty much in the middle. I have my ideas to pick from. Always a rich garden of them.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I agree - story ideas are way more exciting and important than blog ideas. And my ideas either come all at once while I'm working on something already, or all my ideas seem dull . . .it's kind of flood or drought for me.

LTM said...

yep, it's been my experience that it doesn't rain, it pours! :D But that's a good thing. Best~

Aubrie said...

Great plot ideas are much better than blog post ideas anyways! It's nice to see you on here, though. :)

Melanie Goldmund said...

My ideas come in a trickle most of the time. Like you said, I also see ideas all over the place, but most of them don't speak to me. Sometimes it seems so hard to find an idea that I do want to write. And sometimes, when I get an idea, I don't know how to develop it to the end. I really hate that. But I'll keep working at writing, even if I do go at a pace that would make your normal snail look like a race car in comparison.

Angie said...

Todd, I'm like that too. Just focused on one project at a time.

Christine, it's nice you always have ideas to play with.

Tyrean, I know. It's all or nothing sometimes!

Nice to see you too, Aubrie.

Melanie, yep. I write at a snail's pace too, and that's okay! Just have to go with what works for you.

Thanks for the comments everyone. It's great to hear about how you all write.

Angela Felsted said...

My ideas come down like flash floods all at once, usually after a long dry period. But then, I can't possibly write them all, let alone remember them for the next time I need one. So I guess it's a mixed blessing.

Windy Aphayrath said...

for me it's both. i just never know when something's going to hit me and then, usually, it comes at a time when i can't even really do anything about it because i've got about 10 other projects going on too! lol. but i'd say i get ideas in a flow more than trickle, like it's a flash flood, then i'm in a drought for a while ... and honestly, the trigger? music, food, mood, pinecones. whatev. i'm all over the place with inspirations :) good luck!

Nisa said...

Trickles and flows. It seems like the ideas get stopped up completely at times and then gush out all at once. I need to figure out how to unkink the hose at times! Hehe!

Laura Josephsen said...

Sometimes my ideas come in a flood and sometimes I wonder where all the ideas went!! Inevitably, it comes back around and I have more stories to work on.

I've been in the same boat lately--my poor blog hasn't gotten as much attention, but I've been writing. ;)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

oh I"ve got so many story ideas...it makes me sad...I can't live long enough to write them all!

Jackee said...

I keep blinking then realizing I haven't posted in at least a week too. :o)

Ideas are either drought or monsoon for me. Not sure which is worse because I want to write all of them all at once. :o)

Have a great night, Angie!

Carolyn V said...

Mine is more of a trickle. Wish ideas would flood my way.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Well, ideas flow and ebb for me. I wish to only keep up with them when they flood--ACK! There's never enough time do it all and I feel lost under a sea of things. :(


♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

Angie said...

I know the feeling of wanting more time, Elizabeth. We just have to keep plugging along, I guess. Thanks for stopping by!

Jaime Theler said...

If I'm using my creative juices for writing, I find that sometimes I don't have enough for blogging. Often it's a question of time. If I have time to write, lately I've been using it on my book, rather than my blog. And I'm with you on trading plot ideas for blog ideas any day. :)