I’ve often been asked where do you get your ideas from? It seems for me that as soon as I step into the shower and begin my routine a great writing idea pops up. It might be a line, someone’s back story, or a plot twist. It always happens as I’m beginning my scrub down and I have a moment like this. And now I have a big decision to make.
Do I A: hop out of the shower and dry my hands off so that I can type on my phone? Or B: fool myself about the possibility, that I’ll be able to retain the idea. Sometimes I go with B and continue on with my shower routine and it’s almost as if I can see the idea slipping away.
And then the thought is gone.
Do you know what an awful feeling it is to have a great idea gone? To completely vanish without a trace? And you just know that it was the perfect plot twist or line that would have been quoted and the kind book teasers are made of. Yes, that is a sad sad feeling. Which leads me to the part of my life where I have to be more forceful and controlling of these little snippets that need to be saved.
Like when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone and a brilliant thought crosses my mind. I can’t just let that idea pass. I don’t want to be rude. I am interested in what we are talking about, but I have to ask them for a minute so I can write out a note on my phone.
Whoever I’m with usually has this response:
And I get it. I have been on the receiving end of the “give me a minute” one finger salute. Or let me respond to this text real quick and I realize that I’m less important in this moment in order for this important text to be sent. But alas I go with it and wait.
After the note has been typed out and we begin talking again and I’m really getting into the story they are sharing. The speaker is animated as they dish out this anecdote and the dialogue is interesting. Like the kind of lines that you might read in say a book and I just know they are the kind of words that have been so perfectly strung together that they need to be saved.
I should save them. These words are important. I don’t want them to vanish into a forgotten memory and thus I know what needs to be done. I should write this down and save it for later.
I quickly type out the quote or bits of the story and my friends question if I’m writing about them.
And I blatantly deny it.
Later, I get to my computer and all I can think is about how good this story is going to be.
Days, weeks, and months pass by and I finally get to that wonderful moment where I type out two of my favorite words “The End”.
But is it really “the end”? No! In reality it’s just the beginning. The beginning of the big W.
Waiting. So much of writing has to do with waiting. And at first I’m thinking sure I can do this. Waiting isn’t that hard.
You wait to hear from your query, you wait on edits, you wait on covers, you wait on blog tours, you wait on publication day, and you wait on reviews. Please never ask me how many times a day I hit refresh when I’m waiting for something.
Finally, the edits have been turned in. The cover has been revealed. The big day has arrived. It’s release day. Which means many things for me. I might be rocking back and forth in the closet and thinking something like this:
Why? Because now your book baby is in the wild.
You’ve nourished it. Swaddled it. Stayed up late at night with it. Talked to your friends and family about it, giving them all the details about how it’s growing and twisting and turning. And now it’s out there. On its own. You can’t hold onto it anymore because it’s available to be read.
Someone else is going to hold it. And read it. Your words. Words that you wrote and re-wrote and rephrased over and over again until you thought they were perfect, but maybe they aren’t.
Some people are going to love your book baby and some people are not.
But either way you have to keep moving forward because you’ve just hopped in the shower and the cycle is starting all over again!
Gina Henning writes romance for Carina UK when she isn’t lost on a gif hunt.
Find her books here.