I have a lot if ideas. I find an idea in everything. Sometimes I can come up with an idea years before I actually sit down to write it. They sort of kick around in my head while they gel, but then once the characters start nagging me, I know it’s time for them to find their way to the page.
Once that process begins for me, I start firmly outlining the piece. Once the major story beats become clear, then I card out the project and work in a non-linear fashion, filling in the blanks. The six beats to me are like the lines in a coloring book: once the lines are there, it’s time to fill in.
My friend has been on my case lately because sometimes I over-work an outline and then the project sits around longer than it needs to, in which case I lose some steam about it. Losing steam always works against the writing. I’ve learned that even if I have to rewrite more down the line, it’s better to ride the wave of compulsion when it hits, because once that particular impetus has passed, it’s simply more work to emotionally get back to that space.
We write what is passionate to us in the moment because it brings to light some core part of the self that we’re exploring, and that journey needs to find the light of day. If we weren’t emotionally working on the theme of a particular piece, it wouldn’t resonate with us so much at the time, and we wouldn’t be compelled to write that piece now. But, if we’re compelled to write it now, it must mean something. That is the time to write.
Write it now: Don’t let an idea sit on the shelf too long. Ride the momentum.
My friend reminds me, to a good end, that writing is rewriting. Writing isn’t about getting a first draft down on paper and then that’s it. So, to some degree, the fun of any project is the passion. We should all be able to allow ourselves to ride the wave of passion and get that idea down on paper without overthinking it too much.
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