It's early on a Thursday morning, the chill of winter has arrived in London and I've dug out the wooly socks. I've had my first cup of coffee and so, technically, the mental wheels have been greased. I should have unlocked the door to the words. But instead, I'm stuck in that place between worlds where writers go when too many ideas show up and host your basic medieval duel inside your brain. GAH. Trust me friends, it can be bloody and ugly and go on for...well... weeks. All this to say, I'm sorry I've been away for too long, and not even sent a postcard. All of you who send little comments on Facebook, or here, you feed me during those battles. And I dearly love you for it.
So, here I am, hiding from those infernal ideas battling through my head for a moment just to say hello, how are you? and are you reading, or perhaps writing, or (gosh I hope not) watching your own little duels commence. But on the off chance you may be, let me share some tips I've found helpful to banish the buggers.
1. Pick one of those ideas as your hero. Even if it's just for a day. I usually pick the underdog, but hey you probably knew that about me already. Then let the others keep fighting but ignore them. Focus your attention on the little guy you've been thinking about and wanting to get to know.
2. Start by writing ( yes, I know, but I don't mean THAT kind of writing) down everything you know about that idea. Treat it like a character, heck, maybe it IS a character. Get to know it. Decide what you like about it, what bothers you, what you would change if you could. Because, you know - you can. Ha. You're the writer after all. You're in charge. Sometimes you might even decide that what you don't like about this idea is really the genius thing after all. I love it when that happens.
3. Commit to hanging out with ONLY that idea ( yes, it's like dating in this metaphor) for a week. Spend some quality time with it every day. Keep your notes where you can look at them, ( I use my iphone notes) so that you can use time on the bus, or the train, or in waiting rooms or when you have coffee or when you're cooking dinner or just instead of re-watching the latest episode of 'This is Us' because the writing is so good. And write down all the things you think about while you are hanging out. And then afterwards make a few notes about the time you spent together.
I've found that just spending time with my ideas- one at at time- helps me to understand just how much I want to explore them. And suddenly, the words come. Try it. You'll like it. And now, because there are so many words in my head right now, I'll say so long for now. I've got a new book to write.