So yesterday, (Monday) is our weekly shopping day. Where I live, the weather has been ridiculous, two bridges were swept away in a nearby town just a short while ago. Thankfully we haven’t been flooded here, but the rain has been torrential, and it still was that morning. Needless to say I was not excited to go out to the shops. Since I wasn’t feeling it, I was too tired to make a properly organised shopping list, but I made myself go out anyway.
When we got off the bus at our stop, we were pleased to see a clear(ish) sky, though it wouldn’t last all day. We got our massive trolley and entered Lidl. We worked through the aisles, reading off my half baked list, but I found that the fatigue had lifted. I hadn’t been thinking about writing much, I’d been far too tired, but suddenly I found myself imagining settings and dialogue and feeling an urge to write as soon as I got home. At first I thought I must just be in a good mood. But I thought backwards, and I realised that this feeling seems to come every Monday when we come in to do the shopping. It’s something to do with coming to Lidl.
I don’t know why, but it doesn’t happen in other supermarkets. When I go to Tesco, I feel hungry. When I go to Morrison’s, I feel content. But for some reason each week when we enter Lidl, I just feel inspired. I imagine myself getting home with loads of energy, sitting at the computer, writing more than I have in ages. I wonder if it’s something to do with the massive windows letting in lots of light. Or maybe there’s just something magical and mysterious happening in Lidl that I’m unaware of. Either way, I’m not complaining since I get a fresh burst of ideas each week!
As nice as it is though, there is one small problem with my source of inspiration: It gives me ideas for the wrong story.
I think it doesn’t help that I’ve had a song stuck in my head which I strongly associate with idea no.2. It’s a really good song though so I shouldn’t complain.
I’ve only written actual chapters for one idea at the moment, but I have 4 other ideas fully planned out and summarised too. For some reason, this Lidl energy burst only seems to work for idea no.2 out of the bunch, which is totally unrelated to the one I’m currently trying to write. One the one hand I’m just happy to have any ideas at all, but in some way, I feel like I should make myself focus on just the one at a time.
I’m conflicted about it because it’s tempting to write these scenes out fully when I think of them, regardless of what story they’re a part of, so that I don’t forget them. But at the same time, I have a sort of irrational fear, that if I work on multiple things at once I’ll end up getting bored of one of them and it might spoil everything. This scared me because I feel like I really started to get somewhere with my current story, for the first time ever, and I’m terrified of something messing it up. It almost feels like guilt, as if I’m cheating on my current book with another story, even though they’re both mine!
In reality though, I know there can’t be any real harm in writing two things at once. I guess there are no real rules about this stuff and I’ll just have to go with whatever feels right at the time. Maybe next time I go to Lidl and get a vivid image of another story in my head, I’ll try not to worry so much about writing it down and giving it a chance.
Or, maybe I need to try a bunch of other supermarkets till I find one which inspires each different idea I have!