I keep thinking about the question that so many readers ask when I meet them. “Where do you get your ideas?” I’ve always answered glibbly, “Sometimes they come from a radio talk show, a newspaper article, something someone says, a line in a book I’m reading, etc.”
So why can’t I use those things to get an idea now? I’ve never gotten an idea for a book when I was actively looking for one. Usually they’ve come to me when I was writing a novel and it made me anxious to finish said book and get to the new one. I think it’s somewhat like looking for a partner when you’re alone. I never found one while actively searching.
I’m trying not to think about it, but as you can see by this post, I’m not doing too well. Some people count the days until Christmas, or Christmas shopping is over. I now count the days until January 2nd, my self-imposed start date for beginning a new novel. Eleven days. Not even a full two weeks.
Yes, it makes me anxious. Aside from the finacial worries this gives me, writing is what I do. I’m not at all happy when I’m not writing, even if while I write I complain and can’t wait until the novel is finished.
I have to remember that I didn’t have a contract when I started my latest series. But, of course, I had an idea. My agent has been able to sell my books on a 100 pages for quite awhile. So that’s all I’ll have to write.
But I can’t write 100 pages if I don’t have an idea. As I’ve said here before I don’t write outlines so she can’t sell it on a four page synopsis. Even if could write those four pages, I can’t do that either without an idea.
As always the idea has to come first. That sounds simplistic and it is, but it doesn’t feel that way. Let’s face it, I’m in idea hell.
How do you get your ideas?