So this week, I’m very pleased to say that I actually got some proper stuff done! And best of all, I managed not to stress about it, and I succeeded in cutting down my time on the phone. Progress on my current story might not have been huge, but I’m gradually getting back into it.
Last week, I made a post about character names, and in it I chose a name for the main character of an idea I’ve had on the back burner. It’s not the story I’m supposed to be working on right now, but I just have a real soft spot for it. For a few days after writing that post, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea, and after finishing off everyone else’s names, I ended up with a 5000 word plot summary.
I had only intended to make a blurb, maybe a few paragraphs at most, but as soon as I started writing, more and more just kept flowing, and I didn’t want to ignore any new thoughts or ideas. By the time I got to the ending, I was well into the wee hours and my eyes were on fire, but it felt great! It was so nice to be hit with the lightbulb moment of inspiration, and feel the satisfaction as plot elements connect to each other and backstories become more detailed.
I didn’t worry too much this time about ‘cheating’ on my current idea, after my lack of any writing last month, I was just grateful to have the urge to write anything at all!
Thankfully though, that wasn’t the only writing related thing I did this week.
My husband and I took a Christmas shopping trip to a ‘nearby’ city, which means a 2hr 30min bus trip each way. To me, the long journey is a welcome one, as for some unexplainable reason, I find bus travel in particular is incredibly good for stirring up ideas. It’s like my Lidl shopping trips x100.
It can’t hurt that this certain route goes up the coastal road. At least 1hr of the time is spent right by the ocean, cliffsides and hills, which even on a cloudy day, are so beautiful around here.
So, aided by my music playlists, relaxing scenery, and mysterious bus ride atmosphere, I managed to come up with about a dozen more scenes for my current story. It was nice to get back into that one again, it felt like seeing some best friends that had been patiently waiting for me to get back in touch with them. It was easier than I had feared to slip back into the story and to see the scenes in my head, so I look forward to continuing with it!
I think mindset was the biggest factor that helped me this week. I went from stressing, guilt, and non stop phone gaming, to something much calmer. I’m proud to say I was about 90% successful in avoiding Angry Birds, and I revisited an old (much more relaxing) hobby, cross stitching, instead. I powered through 4 kits this week that will make Christmas decorations, but more than that, it’s the type of hobby that lets your hands do the work, while your brain can fly away to ideas at the same time.
Also, removing deadlines and the firm restriction of only having one idea at a time also felt very good. Although I’m still going to primarily focus on my current story, I’m pretty certain that allowing myself to do that summary of a different idea actually freed my mind up to feel excited about the current story. So I won’t be afraid of other projects in the future.
Speaking of other projects, I have a little idea to return to someday. I love taking photos of things, and I love writing. Recently, I’ve seen a couple of unusual or interesting things, which I’ve taken pictures of, and it occurred to me that I can combine the two.
Why did someone leave a tiny, adorable pumpkin outside Morrison’s? Why is there a undamaged, bright chilli pepper on the street outside a hairdressers? It seems like there could be an interesting story there, and so I have a new casual project, Photo Prompts!
I already take pictures of random things, (some would perhaps say useless instead of random) and I think it could be fun to come up with any kind of story idea or even just a scene idea behind the pictures I take. It’s a no-pressure kind of hobby, which is nice, and it could be the type of thing that provides a gentle break from a full WIP novel which can feel a bit heavy at times.
If I find anything else unusual looking on my travels, I’ll include them in future posts!
Well, I might not have cracked the next 10,000 words yet, but I think I did not too bad this week. I tried some different stuff, managed to stay off the phone, got outside into the fresh air, and had lots of fun with writing, which is the most important thing!