Writing is a very solitary profession. The glamour to work ratio is relatively low, though every six to nine months, there is the thrill of a new book launch, the fun of book signings, and meeting awesome readers!!
In truth, 98.5% of the actual job is competed in a room, in front of a laptop (pad of paper, electronic device) … by yourself. For me, inside the four walls of my office, I outline, create characters, conjure vivid descriptions, and dream up dialogue. Brain to fingertips to digital device. Repeat.
In my world, writing is accomplished early morning, before most of the world wakes, from 5:30 am-7:30 am Monday through Saturday. From there, I transform into Mom mode, corral kids, and head out the door to my full-time job. When 5 pm arrives, it’s time for dinner, blog posts, social media, and grad school assignments before tucking everyone into bed.
It’s a schedule that demands dedication–one definitely not for the faint of heart. Occasionally, though, I have to break out of my routine and remind myself why I started writing in the first place:
~ It’s all about the stories ~
Stories that make me laugh or cry, stories that make me stop and think, stories that make me look back on my life and be thankful for the choices I made or didn’t make.
For me, breaking out of that routine means leaving work behind. It means going to conventions and attending sessions held by bestselling authors. It means chatting with strangers.
Chatting with strangers?
Definitely. But, for many people, that’s a scary prospect. Striking up a conversation with someone who you’ve never met, a person with which you might not have anything in common, and a reader who might be a die-hard vampire fan when all that you write is regency romance.
My advice? Do it anyway.
It’s in those conversations, in that interaction and communication, when my creative wheels begin spinning. This past week alone, I spoke to a bookseller from Australia, a librarian from Iowa, a bookstore owner from Seattle, a physician on his way to a conference in New Orleans, and a licensed professional counselor who evaluates criminals in Texas.
Granted, I was attending the #RT15 conference in Dallas (for all of 72 hours), but it was more than enough to jump-start quite a few story ideas and get the “What if…” questions rolling around in my head.
What jump starts your creativity? Where do you get your story ideas?