Let's chat about it.
I think for a writer, the scariest place to be is one bereft of ideas. I experienced that horror as I planned this blog. I'd been batting around ideas for my post, but nothing felt quite right.
I don't have a new book out right now, so I don't have that to write about. I've read some really wonderful books lately, but I didn't want it to seem like I was playing favorites. This is a really busy time at school, meaning there's not as much writing time, so nothing there.
Lots of things were circling in my brain, but nothing felt "big" enough for a blog.
Please bear with me, I'm going to piece some of those thoughts together.
I was never one of those people who knew she was going to be a writer.
As I've mentioned before, I was too in awe of the people who wrote my beloved books to think I could ever be one of them.
Honestly, I thought I was too boring,
But I always entertained myself with my stories. For as long as I can remember, I "read" myself to sleep by making up stories. There were two problems with this. First, I was kind of confirming the boring part in my mind because I made myself fall asleep each night. Maybe I should have marketed my fiction as a cure for insomnia.😧
The second problem was that I never finished a story. Each night, I'd start over and then fall asleep. Eventually, I got so tired of not finishing a particular story, that I wrote it down. The happy part of that was that it got me writing without worrying about boring anyone. I was only writing for myself.
Eventually I entered a contest - the Golden Heart. (Nothing like aiming high right out of the gate!)
I still remember my reaction when I got a call that my manuscript was a finalist. I was overjoyed because it meant at least some readers didn't find me boring!!!
I never did sell that original manuscript, but every once in a while I pull it out and toy with updating it. Maybe some day. It was historical and I write suspense now (mostly).
Which brings me to some of those other thoughts.
Honestly, inside a writer's brain is a wonderful place to abide!
On Tuesday, Jo Ann Brown was talking about where people get ideas for their stories. Then yesterday, Valerie Hansen shared some interesting thoughts about exploring history through our writing. Both of those posts tapped into some of the ideas that had been rolling around in my head.
What do people think about if it's not stories?
That probably sounds crazy, but my brain is always playing with ideas. I rarely go anywhere that something doesn't attract my interest and have me wandering down the "What If" trail.
For example, one day I was walking to work and saw a girl's First Communion veil in the gutter, all muddied and torn. You can bet my suspense writer brain went to work on that one!
I took my class on a trip - and started wondering, what if a family member used a class trip as a cover to kidnap a child?
For my current book, I was reading about the Amish who traveled to Texas to help out after Hurricane Ike, and I started wondering, what if they liked it and stayed - but ran afoul of the drug cartels?
Amish and drug cartels and muddied Communion veils are a far cry from the colonial girl rescuing a privateer that I first dreamed about. And I think that's what I love best about writing. There are endless possibilities to explore.
One of my favorite poems is by Emily Dickinson. It begins
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away
These days, I find that line applies as much to writing those books as reading them. What an adventure this writing gig is!
And hopefully I'm not boring anyone. 😏
I'd love to hear from other writers. Does any of this resonate with you?
And readers, do you ever consider what goes on in the mind of the author whose book you are reading? Wonder what generated those stories?
And I promise I'm not playing favorites when I give a Thursday Shout Out to the wonderful writers I am privileged to work with at Love Inspired Suspense. These are the current May titles.