My Own Laziness Is Conspiring Against Me

A few nights ago, I was about to fall asleep when an idea hit me.  It was an awesome idea for a post that might have worked out great since I’m running out of things to talk about while I finish the never-ending LOTR debacle.  I resolved to type out a draft of the post the next day.

Yeah, only here’s the thing: the next morning, I had forgotten what it was.

This has happened before.  I”ll be nice and cozy in bed (of course, it isn’t always in bed- it can be other places too) when WHAM!  An idea for a blog post or a plot point or what-have-you will hit me like a cannonball to the creativity.  And unless I write it down somewhere right that very instant, I’ll forget all about it the next day.  I guess it’s something about having it physically down somewhere that helps me remember.  This is why I use the Notes app on my iPod touch so often, and I usually have said iPod lying on my nightstand.

Only this time it wasn’t there.  And what was I going to do, get up and walk somewhere to find it?  Or write down the idea on paper?  “No!” declared my dominant lazy side.  “This will not stand!  I believe in my ability to retain information on my own!”

And thus, the downfall of a perfectly good post idea occurred due to my lazy side’s overconfidence in my hippocampus.*

...Too late.

It becomes a vicious cycle: every time this happens, I resolve not to let it happen again.  And the next few times I get a good idea, I succeed in putting it down somewhere before I forget it.  But then the ONE NIGHT I don’t have my handy-dandy notebook (or what-have-you) with me, the wrath of the plot bunnies takes advantage of my vulnerability and descends.  And once it does, because I instantly forget how bad this is for me, I think, “Great!  What a splendid thought!  There’s NO WAY I’ll forget a thought this awesome!  I’ll be sure to write it down in the morning!”  And then the bunnies continue on their merry way…right out of short-term memory without even bothering to convert to long-term (or whatever term is needed for recall in eight hours or so).

This, readers, does not bode well for my writing career.  What if I get a really good plot bunny and don’t record it?  I must keep something with me at all times for just such a purpose.

Unfortunately, Google chooses not to cooperate today, but I know that I heard somewhere that the brain becomes most creative when it is drowsy and about to fall asleep.  Maybe it’s something about the quiet of one’s bed.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it’s FRUSTRATING when my neurons suddenly spark off one of these brain waves.

I suppose this is a part of life, and, like many parts of life, a learning experience.  And I have learned my lesson now: always write it down before you forget it.

You could argue that this post doesn’t really have much to do with writing or reading, but I think it’s a decent subject to talk about.  After all, many of my ideas come from unexpected plot bunnies such as these.  It’s important that we writers are prepared when they strike, and strike they will.  Hopefully we can actually get something decent out of these tiny ideas.

Happy reading!

 

*That would be the part of the brain where memory is stored.

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Writing For Yourself

Who do you write for?

I’ve addressed this topic before in a roundabout sort of way, but now I’m going to focus in on it.  When we write (I say we because I assume most of you have considered yourselves writers at one point or another), who is the main object of our words?  Do we write to appease our fans, or is it for ourselves?

I am of the opinion that, whatever you write, you should let it be for you and only you.  Write what you want to write, and don’t care what anyone else thinks.  As long as it is all you and makes you happy, another person’s opinion does not matter in the least.

When I’m coming up with posts for this blog, I’m writing about things that make me think.  I write to record my own thoughts and my journey to become a better writer and more well-read reader.  I write about whatever I’m pondering at the moment, whether it be a character’s wardrobe or the latest Hunger Games movie news.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t write just for the fans or to make something popular.  I find it much more fulfilling to know you’ve written something meaningful to you and that you’re proud of.  You know what they say about genius being misunderstood, after all.

I realize this is one of my shorter posts, but it gets to the point well enough.  Today I was going to tell you about my Halloween costume this year (which is book-based and which I’m really excited to show you guys), but I don’t think I’ll have time to put that together tonight.  Plus, if I do it now it’ll just be drowned out by all the other Halloween-y stuff going on right now in the blogosphere.  So I’ll probably get to that sometime during this week, if all goes well.

On another note, Inheritance comes out in just over a week!  I can’t believe it’s so close already.  There’ll be a post about that next week as well.

Dragons are just cool.

Happy reading!

An Experiment in Spontaneity

I don’t know what I’m going to write about today.

Really.  I suppose this is just one of those days.  A day when you can’t think of something to write, no matter how hard you stare at the computer screen.  A day when all of your creativity seems to have deserted you.  Because I honestly can’t think of anything to talk about.

I don’t think it’s because I’ve written about everything there is to write about; reading is an eternally ongoing experience for me, and I doubt I’ll ever be finished with it.  Maybe I’m just not feeling inspired today.

So, the question is this: what inspires people to write?  I don’t mean what makes them want to write or what gives them the original ideas for their writing, but what fleshes out their stories?  What is that crucial element which allows writers to keep doing what they do, without fail?

Maggie Stiefvater (you remember her, don’t you?) wrote about this topic some time ago on her blog (which is linked-to in the sidebar as always).  She said that one needs to go out and live.  Really live, as in see new places, experience new things, do something you’ve never done and draw from that.  Use your adventures to fuel your stories, to make it seem more real.  Inspiration, according to her, cannot be obtained from staying in the same environment all the time.  If a writer is holed up in his or her room every day, he or she is drawing on the same set of memories and knowledge that he or she always has.  When that happens, the well of ideas is going to dry up eventually.

Nature can be very good for the creativity.

I tend to agree with Mrs. Stiefvater.  I believe we writers need to go out there and really live life and be inspired.

So if you ever have a day like mine, a day where you are simply sitting in front of the monitor with a blank space where your thoughts usually are, my advice is do something different.  It doesn’t have to be much.  After all, it doesn’t take much for an idea to form.

Like this post.  I did something I’ve never really done before: I started writing with absolutely no preconceived notion of what I was going to post about.  All I knew was that I was going to post today.  I just started writing, and look where it led me.  I now have a full-fledged blog post for you, as well as some sound advice for myself.  And that brings me to a second piece of advice that has become apparent: on a day such as this, writers, just write something.  Write anything.  Start with absolutely no idea what you are writing, whether it be the worst thing you’ve ever written or the most epic novel ever produced in the history of humanity.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  You never know where those first few sentences might take you.  You might even get something great out of it.

It all works out eventually.

In other words: don't let lack of inspiration get you down!

Happy reading!