If you’re like me, if someone asked if I made the coffee this morning, I’d say of course. If they said, we’re you energetic and enthusiastic, then my answer would be no. Yet I still made the coffee.
What does that have to do with the habit of writing? Like making coffee, some parts of writing can become muscle memory. While you never want to phone it in, you do want to develop consistency.
One way of doing this, is to bank your ideas. We’ve talked about writing prompts, but beyond this, should be an idea bank of ideas you store for your writing time. Whether you jot a note to yourself, dictate it into your phone, or store it on a legal pad, start collecting the thoughts that come to you. Like buying a bag of coffee, have them in a container for your next brewing session.
You never know when two, seemingly unrelated ideas, will align in your writing. For example, in my first novella, The Polar Bears Typewriter, two unrelated interviews led to the plot of my book. Often, what seems disconnected finds its home when you continue to write, provided you still have those ideas in reserve.
Second, when you write it down, don’t assume the you of tomorrow will remember everything the you of today is thinking. Write enough in that sentence or two, so that you won’t lose a penny of it when revisiting it. Maybe even find or create a format, or template for yourself, which triggers your memory.
Third, return often to your idea bank. Looking at what you have, at different times, will cause you to see in a way that you haven’t before. Looking at them regularly will create the habit of looking for ideas, everywhere, and often.
Finally, don’t develop opinions about your ideas. Never dismiss an idea just because it didn’t work before. Just because an idea is ten years old, in no way means it’s a bad idea. It just means it’s time wasn’t here yet.
Applying intention to inspiration will fortify your writing. It will allow you to regularly create something unexpected. Oh, and one more tip, you always right better, with a good cup of coffee.