I often find that inspiration can be lacking. I think all writers go through this at some point. Sometimes we are so focused and have so much to do, yet trying to think of a story idea to work on can lead to frustration and apathy. I have struggled with this from time to time. I always find that the longer I don’t write for, the harder it is to get back into the swing of it and generate new ideas.
Currently, I’m working on my no zero days policy which is going well. Some days I write thousands of words, sometimes hundreds, sometimes just enough to call it a no zero day. While those days disappoint me I always have to remind myself to take each day as it comes.
I’m trying to enter a lot of short stories at the minute as well as editing my novel and I find that my biggest source of inspiration for this is my partner. I bounce ideas off him or tell him what the call is and he’s usually really great at getting my brain sparked and getting me writing. We seem to be on the same wavelength and we both wonder at odd things and pose silly questions to each other, you know those ‘what if’ questions. It never fails to get me thinking and that’s what I need. That’s what everybody needs. Something–or someone–who sparks your creativity.
A couple of things I do to spark my creativity:
* talk to my partner.
* pay close attention to my dreams.
* ask myself and others and situations the question: what if.
* look at my everyday life and the people in it.
I keep a notebook of my ideas, things I might want to work on in the future, things that interest me but I don’t have time to work on. It means that even if that spark hasn’t worked for me at this point, I know it might in the future. Sometimes just going back through that notebook is enough.
I’m working on editing a novel I wrote during the 2013 NaNoWriMo extravaganza. I hit near 60k with this one (one of my longest to date on initial write) and I really loved it. It’s already had a couple of different titles and I’m working on giving it another for when I finish but for now we’ll call it The Circle of Trees.
This novel idea came to me when I was out walking one day. I remember the day just as it was: bright and sunny. I was out for one of my first walks with a hiking group, my dad in tow. We were hiking in Ingram Valley which is located in Breamish Valley, Northumberland. It’s a beautiful spot and one I’ve been to before with bbqs and friends for fun days out.
This day in particular was sweltering hot and we traversed up a narrow pathway up the side of a steep hill. My dad and myself were near the back of the group and as I walked, I watched my feet. There was no way I wanted to stumble and slip over the side! So I finally got to the top and as our group was moving over a stile one by one, I finally had the chance to look up. I saw hills after hills, greenery and blue sky. It was beautiful. That’s when I saw them. On the top of a hill there was a circle of trees. It struck me with the way they were formed, almost as if they had been put there on purpose, and I couldn’t help but think on it. It lingered in my mind and I wish I had managed to stop and take a photo – it was hard work keeping up with everyone – as there have been so many times I’ve wanted to go back and grab the shot and never managed yet.
As we ended the walk at the local pub with a well earned pint of beer and a snickers (essential walking food!) I got out my notebook and jotted a few things down. The idea grew from there and it seemed, so did the characters. When I wrote the novel in 2013 it was one of my easiest writes so far. I’d planned it well and I was so absorbed in the story itself.
Now I’m finally getting around to editing (five chapters in so far) with the hopes of submitting it when I’m done. So I’m going to start searching for publishers too!
How was everybody’s Christmas? I have to say that mine was just as it should be. I got to spend time with both my family and my partner’s family, ate so much food I was fit to burst and got so spoiled it was unbelievable. I’m now the proud owner of a Tassimo machine. I had my first drink yesterday (a Costa latte) and it was lovely. My parents got me a big, mixed box of pods so I can try out different drinks. When my partner suggested he could get me the machine for Christmas I never thought I would consider using it to make tea but alas, I’m also excited to try those flavours too! I got some dollars ready for my trip to New York next year, a lot of notebooks (and let’s face it, when don’t I need notebooks?), snuggly pjs of different kinds that I can’t wait to climb into bed in, a lot of Gorjuss notebooks as well as two really cute figurines and lots of other stuff too. I can’t believe how spoiled I was. Have you ever seen the Gorjuss range? If not, check this out:
First thing is first, a must for any writer is to read and lots of it. Reading has always been a highlight for me and I’ve loved it since being a kid. The only thing is, time seems to slip away from me a lot and before I know it, I haven’t picked up a book for two weeks. I set myself the target of reading at least one book every two weeks. That’s enough to keep my hand in (for now) and keep my mind active and also to bring me some nice, quiet time for myself.
Next thing is obviously writing! I want to make time to write at least once a week. It’s sometimes quite hectic trying to fit it all in with a full time job that gives obscure shift patterns as well as everything else in life but it’s so important to not only keep writing to keep my brain from exploding but also to keep improving (there’s always room for it!)
Alongside writing, comes editing. I have at least four novels sitting there in my spare room waiting for some much needed attention. I’ve set myself a plan for looking at each of these this year and beginning to get something that could resemble something worth publishing!
There will be other resolutions such as the typical eat better (which I think I’ll find impossible considering the amount of sweeties in my house!) and going back to the gym (which I know I’ll feel the benefit of) at least twice a week.
What are your new year resolutions going to be? Have you given it any thought yet?