A Smorgasbord of Writing Ideas


“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.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 9.27.30 AM

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? 

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash. Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash


Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

11 thoughts on “A Smorgasbord of Writing Ideas

    1. Hi there! Yep, notebooks are great, too. And more organized than cocktail napkins and dry cleaner receipts. 🙂 I’m glad you like the salad analogy–I swear, food is always on my brain.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can truly relate to this! Whenever someone gives me a book idea I want to say “write your own damn book!” But I’m polite too, so I just thank them. Ideas are never a problem, but deciding which ones to pursue is much more tricky. I tend to follow the one(s) with the most “juice” and/or the ones to which I keep returning. Sometimes this happens in dreams or in my imagination. And sometimes they come to me while I’m driving in the car so maybe I need to use my voice recorder and get a few more of those down without creating any danger on the road! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol@”write your own book!” I totally get you on that one.

      And yes, it’s amazing how some ideas really take root once they come in our minds, and others fizzle. Using the voice recorder sounds like a great idea to capture moments while driving. One day soon there will be self-driving cars, and driving while distracted won’t be an issue. Can’t wait!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Ann Malley and commented:
    Good food is BETTER shared. And the same can be said for ideas–writing ideas. It’s often the scent of food that makes you hungry, after all, so open your senses to the savory aroma of creative think brought to you by my good friend, the multi-talented René Penn.

    Write ON!!

    Liked by 1 person

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