“You’re a writer? Cool.” I often hear people say that to me, which is nice. Their tone is positive, encouraging. Then about one-third of them will follow up with, “I’ve got this great idea that you could turn into a book.”
They all mean well, and I like to hear their ideas. Love it, in fact. The trouble is, I have too many ideas already, a smorgasbord of them, swarming around in my head.
I’m not alone, right?
There’s this salad-worth of ideas. Not a tiny, cute, side salad. We’re talking, a big entree portion. Like the kind you get at Cheesecake Factory. Where there’s so much stuff on it, you can hardly see the lettuce.
Sometimes, the ideas come in waves
Yesterday was one of those days. Ideas were flowing like the River Jordan. It must’ve been some sort of spiritual-led experience, because I couldn’t have thought of all of that stuff myself.
The ideas might be all over the place
High-level concepts for a book series, ideas for specific books that I haven’t started yet, ideas for scenes of a WIP, dialogue for a scene of a chapter, thoughts on a non-fiction book that I’m outlining. Sometimes, ideas are all over the place, so…
I write them down
I’d like to be one of those cool people that jots things on cocktail napkins or dry cleaner receipts. But I’m not. I use the Notes app on my Mac and a Notepad app on my phone. I also use Scrivener. It’s been an incredibly useful and efficient tool for writing down ideas, whether they’re big-picture or nitty-gritty.
I read the list
At times, I’m inspired by an idea, and I get cracking on it right away. Other times, I let things settle and go back to the list later. At second glance, I may decide that some of the ideas don’t make sense. Or they’re too out-there. Or the timing simply isn’t good.
I sift through
Right now, I’ve got 17 of them on my Notes lists. I don’t know if I’m going to make something of all these book ideas. Some could be part of a series, some could stand-alone. I’ve completed drafts for four of the 17, but…
I decide what to do with them
Two of the finished manuscripts may not see the light of day, unless I do massive rewrites. I’m editing the third manuscript again, and plan to send it to an editor for a professional eye. The fourth one, I sent out to a publisher and am waiting for a response.
But what about the other 13? I sent one idea as a proposal to a publisher, and it received a rejection. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the other book ideas. Ask me next month, maybe I’ll have a better answer. *smile*
Do you have a smorgasbord of writing ideas swarming through your head? How do you sort through it all?