I never said they had to be good ideas. They just have to exist. The first book I ever sold was one that I began with the idea that no one would believe me when I told them I knew immediately that my husband was the man for me, so I made the characters vampires and werewolves to have the story work.
Write down what ideas you'd love to express. Write down something funny your friend said two years ago. Write down what your mail man wore when it was too hot to breathe this summer.
When I say write it down, I don't necessarily mean pen and paper. You can type it out on a laptop, slap some keys on an Alphasmart, make voice memos on your phone, use a digital notebook on an iPad. However you put ideas down, do it.
Just make sure you pick a single style, or transfer all ideas to a single spot. If you have cloud storage you can access from different devices, this could be a great time to take advantage of that feature.
My biggest struggle this year is one I never in a million words thought I'd have to grapple with.
I have been a romance reader since I picked up my first romantic triangle YA book in middle school. I have adored romance as an adult, and couldn't fathom writing anything else when I was in the thick of it.
But now we are in the middle of a pandemic, and many of the tropes we would play in seem incredibly foreign. And how am I supposed to think about a happily ever after right now? The idea of our old "normal" seems far away. Writing is different for me at this point in my life. Frankly, watching my books evaporate from the web when Samhain Publishing shut down, changed me.
I have a few WIPs I had pitched before the pandemic hit that got some interest. I have a few books plotted, or planned out before life got in the way. I may pick one of those up, or I may scrap it all and just put words to paper that inspire me.
Today, I am simply writing down ideas. I am brainstorming things that interest me. I am going to put a few of them on post-it notes and stick them on the slat wall above my desk. I'm going to sit with them there until November and see which one stalks me into my dreams.
I have a shit ton of extra note books lying around too, so I grabbed three of my dollar store mini books. Whichever ideas make it to my top three will get notes in these. Might as well make use of the stationary I have lying around, and these bad boys will fit into my everyday planner pockets.
Do you have any ideas about what you want to write about? Have you been struggling with the idea of a HEA in our new world, like me?
Or are you just going to say fuck this whole plan business, and start on November 1st with whatever pops into your head?
I'd love to hear about it. Let me know what you're doing to brainstorm.