Not really about ideas

Someone once said to me–and I gather this is a thing that is often said to writers–that she would love to write a novel if she could just come up with something to write about.

This made no sense to me, since I spent my time making up stories before I ever thought about writing, and I hadn’t realized that other people weren’t constantly playing movies in their heads. I started writing so I could turn the stories into something solid and coherent. (Also, the realization that my made-up stories, written down, could be books was like a lightning bolt. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I was in college at the time. Sometimes I’m not very bright.)

One of the best ways for me to get ideas is by reading. The more I read, the more I want to write. I started out reading and writing mostly novels. As I read more short stories, I started getting ideas for short stories. Writing itself creates ideas, as characters or subplots get cut, or choices made that preclude other interesting plots.

It works with blog posts too. About two years ago I decided I wanted to write two posts a week. At first it was a struggle. What was I going to write about? I started keeping a list of topics. Now I have enough topics to do three posts a week for months.

But like writing, the problem with actually doing it isn’t the ideas, it’s the execution. Sometime I don’t have time to write a post, or I’d rather use that time for, you know, writing fiction.

Then you get meandering things like this one.

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