Sometimes having a mind that constantly burbles with ideas is incredible, especially when it involves something creative. I’m never short on ideas. Even during the times when I couldn’t write, I still had ideas. Not as many as I have when I am being consistently creative – that is, me sitting down to work on my WIPs for at least an hour or two a day – but still, I had ideas.
I dutifully take them down on whatever is handy, and that has led to a box of assorted random items with ideas. I’ve sat in pubs and scrawled on coasters, napkins, and the back of credit card slips, swiped an empty packet of cigs from a mate to write on the box, written things in steam on the bathroom mirror and rushed to dry off and record it on paper before it fades. Posh restaurant that the Manasaurus has treated me to? Waiter, can I borrow your pen and order book for a moment? My dinky little purse couldn’t fit my Tools of the Trade.
With my introduction to mobile phones half a lifetime ago, I often texted myself ideas. Limited to 160 characters, ideas would be explored over dozens of text messages – until I upgraded from the Nokia brick to the 3GS and it’s wonderful Notes app. Four smartphones later, I still have Notes stored from 2010 in my personal cloud. Occasionally I find I’ve popped them in Reminders instead, and if I’ve been particularly verbose, Pages has my ramblings posted either in a massive brick of text or one liners in bullet form.
With so many ideas, how do I decide what to write? I listen to what speaks to me the strongest, or which character is yelling the loudest, begging for their story to be written. I find that process rather amusing, actually, and sometimes the idea I take from my Ideas Box isn’t the story I want to write.
Then there’s the nights where I’m all “Yay, I’ve got 5 hours in which I can sit and just write!” and I sit down in front of my laptop and am frozen by indecision.
Which WIP do I work on? It can be a difficult decision, especially when I love the WIPs equally. Tonight, I had to decide between Iceheart, Possession and Reboot. I couldn’t decide at all, and picking at Fractured Mirrors, Broken Glass didn’t take either.
So I cracked open a couple of pomegranate ciders and answered questions in the Accounting study group on Facebook my alter ego belongs to, and wrote this instead.