Monday, February 07, 2005

The Idea Faerie

Some writers call it their Muse. Others don’t have a name for it, and when asked where they get their ideas from, they just shrug. I call it the Idea Faerie. She usually visits me at night, when I’m sleeping, and leaves me a little present under my pillow just like the Tooth Faerie. Maybe they are sisters or cousins.

Anyway, I wake up and there it is. An Idea. Sometimes just a tiny kernel. Sometimes an entire story. As I brush my teeth and shower and put on my makeup, my mind spins at a billion cycles per minute, scenes coming one on top of another. I don’t even bother trying to write it down. It’s there, solid as a rock.

Sometimes the Idea includes fully formed characters. Other times it’s just the premise and the characters have to be nurtured and fleshed out. A lot of the time it’s a beginning and a middle with no end. Once in a while it’s the end with no beginning.

These visits by the Idea Faerie are a blessing and a curse. She makes sure that I’ll never run out of stories to write, so if I ever get this fledgling career off the ground, I should be set for a good long run. But she also contributes to my position as a non-closer.

Because once a new Idea grabs a hold, everything else pales by comparison. All that matters is the new story, the need to get the new Idea out on paper as fast as possible. The current WIPs become redheaded stepchildren, relegated to the file cabinet of my hard drive until I’ve burned out the candle of the newest darling or another Idea hits me upside the head.

I think I’ve learned how to deal with this. At least, I’m giving something a try. Yesterday morning when I woke up with an Idea, I spent all morning rolling it around and giving it form and substance. Then I sat down at my laptop and did a brain dump. Got as much as I possibly could on paper (which should hopefully serve as a good synopsis at some point) and then I filed it in my “Ideas” folder. It’s safe there, not going anywhere. I can push the idea away and forget about it because when I’m ready, it’ll be waiting for me. I’m going to treat it like a reward. Until I finish – yes, that’s f-i-n-i-s-h – the book I’m currently writing, I cannot even consider working on the new Idea. I can’t write word one.

I have to eat all of my vegetables before I can have my chocolate.


Anonymous said...

So nice to know I'm not the only one who works like this.

Some people want to brainwash true storytellers into thinking that's the incorrect way to write.

I've since reached the conclusion they're just jealous.

Please continue sharing this sort of thing so those of us writing like this have some justification in knowing we are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is so freaky. I blogged about this exact thing on the 9th, but I swear I didn't see yours first. LOL

Great blog, by the way...