“I dwell in possibility.” – Emily Dickinson
I’ve always loved quotes and the inspiration they provide. Lately they’ve been helping me recapture my natural joy for living and writing.
Dwelling in Possibility
This quote made me think of how I feel when I get a new story idea that I think is brilliant 🙂 . I often get goosebumps and my heart speeds up with the excitement of how I will execute it exactly as I imagine it in my mind and it will be received by adoring readers who think it’s as brilliant as I do.
When it’s just an idea, there are endless possibilities–who is the main character and how will I and readers connect with him/her? What will happen to the character? How will s/he overcome obstacles and come out changed in the end?
I’m getting giddy just talking about having a good idea!
Keeping the Love (of an idea) Alive
But what happens when you start to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? A lot of my writer pals love writing their first draft. They love the newness and freedom of just getting it out. I struggle with that because I’m an “edit as I go” writer (which I’m trying to change because for me it’s a HUGE time waster—argh).
But let’s say you get going and you’re feeling that what’s coming out isn’t meshing with what ran around in your brain earlier. If you’re not a free-flowing drafter like me, this may cause some pain. How do you keep the excitement alive as the reality of getting the story down begins to arise?
Here are some tips I’ve found for staying excited about your story idea.
Tip #1. Return to the feeling of the idea.
That’s right, the feeling, not the idea itself–though if you can reach back and grab the idea before you began writing, that’s excellent! Recapture that goosebumpy excitement by imagining that the story is complete and brilliant right now. Close your eyes and see the finished book, see readers enjoying it and writing you awesome emails, telling you how they connected with it.
Tip #2. Re-read a part of the story that rocks.
This is one of my go-to techniques. I do it a lot when I get stuck or my enthusiasm lags. When I find a good piece of writing—some dialogue, a great description—it reminds me (a) that I’m a good writer and (b) that this story has something to it.
Tip #3. Remember why you are writing the story.
It might be because it made you laugh or because it’s about an issue that you care deeply about or pisses you off. Whatever it is, stop and identify it. The fun or fire beneath your motivation will usually boost your excitement again!
Now it’s your turn. What do you do to maintain the excitement of one of your ideas?
Next week I’ll talk about how you know when you should let an idea go.
P.S. On a different exciting topic, check out my free Top 10 Tips for Submitting Your Book. 🙂