There are countless times when I get new ideas for stories. The worst time though happens when I am immensely buried in another project. I struggle with having to choose between pushing past the desire to move on to the “next best thing” or continue with the project I am working on. On most occasions, I can tell you that remaining on the original project is the best choice. I am constantly floating from idea to idea and if I always went with where my very active muse took me, I would never complete anything.
Keeping a journal is a great way to jot down idea that you have when you have them. I get some of my best ideas when I driving, which undoubtedly is the worse time to get ideas. I have a few times, pulled the car over to write down an idea, or at least jot down a few key words. I always write a thought down when I get where I am going, just so I don’t forget the inspiration.
In my early years of writing, I always waited for my muse to come. Now that I am older and * wiser * I know that if I waited until my muse came, I would never write anything. I have learned to pick up this mantra:
On numerous occasions I write thinking,
This is horrible. I can’t believe how bad this is
But still I keep writing. Why? Well, I am very close to my work. I know where I want my characters to go, I know what I want them to say but sometimes they have a mind of their own. And more often than I like to admit, the things I did that I thought were just awful, were actually not too bad. Just give it some time, come back to it and you will see if with fresh new eyes and you’d be surprised.
Pinterest is one of my favorite writing tools. Yes, I know that is a little confusing. Pinterest is usually where I go to try to develop ideas of different character portraits, new environments, and even writing prompts. You would be surprised if you just take a peak. You can take a look at my boards at https://www.pinterest.com/josemwota/ and see what I’ve been inspired by recently.
Finally, my most favorite way to come up with ideas, specifically if I find my characters have pushed me into a corner and I don’t know where to go, I do word sprints or word wars. I love the idea of a challenge and do better when I compete with others. A word sprint is when you set a time limit, generally between 10 minutes and an hour, and see how many words you can write in that time frame without stopping. A word war is when you compete with others.
For the most part, new ideas and finding out where to go in a story are not always easy, but there can be fun ways to get your mind working.