The Ideas that Float Away and Die…


I haven’t so much as looked at the Word document that could potentially be my life’s best work in, ooh let’s see: over a fortnight. Work has been crazy: I’ve had a gazillion deadlines and a job interview (I got the job! Woohoo!). I’ve been super busy, but that doesn’t mean I ever stop thinking about my stories.

I get ideas for characters and plot lines in the most mundane places. I was writing sample sentences for a Year 10 grammar lesson… out of nowhere I got into this deep, detailed description of the contents of a guy’s pockets. I went for a walk with my family to see an ancient stone circle… suddenly snippets of from that YA fantasy trilogy I always intended to write are flashing in my head, sparking, wanting to ignite. I listened to The Infinite Monkey Cage podcasts for hours yesterday, and suddenly a connection was made: YA fantasy trilogy – dark matter – string theory – the multiverse! OK, OK, Philip Pullman’s already done that one, but maybe I could do it differently. After all, are there really any truly original ideas left? Now there’s a good title – In Search Of An Original Idea… 

These are the thoughts I remember, but what happens to the ones I don’t?

I get ideas all the time. A lack of ideas is definitely not the reason why I haven’t written my novel yet.

What if I’m remembering the wrong ones?

I know, I know… I should keep a notebook. It’s all about a good working routine, isn’t it? I suppose my life as a teacher is a bit too full of routine. I get bored of thinking I have to do something at a certain time each day. Still, I know this is my problem. To be a better writer, I need better habits. I have libraries of notebooks, most of them empty save a few pages… maybe it’s time to dig them out and use them. I have a new smart phone, so perhaps I will try using one of the notes apps – at least I know I won’t leave that at home, lose it, or decide it’s too heavy for my handbag. I really need to get better at catching my own ideas before they float away and die.

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