There are many tough things about being a wanna-be writer. The toughest is looking at the writers that hold that special place in your heart; the writers who after you have read one of their books, you think, why didn’t I think of that? Or,why can’t I come up with ideas like that? This has been my experience over the past year as I have dived head first into the world of writing and as I have struggled to get my feet wet with that one great idea that I hope will turn into something truly ah inspiring. But still I wonder, where do those great ideas come from?
I know that this is a question that every successful writer gets asked about over and over. . . and over again, but it’s a valid question – where do they come up with their great idea? The world wants to know.
This frustration and feeling that I had no good ideas to write about was driven home for me when I read Stephen King‘s Pet Semetery. How much more basic a story plot does Pet Semetery have to be? It was a story just sitting out their waiting to be plucked down from the tree of ideas and used as a plot of a story. To make things that much more frustrating it is such an obvious idea to write about – a semetary that has magical powers and which can be used to bring living things (animals or humans) back to life. Why didn’t Bram Stoker or Edgar Allen Poe come up with that same idea a hundred years before? How was Stephen King the first to come up with that idea?
Then one day, while listening to NPR, Todd Rosenberg of OddTodd was on promoting his book. During the interview Rosenberg said that on average he gets one idea per day, and not just any idea, but a great idea. He went further to describe how they just pop into his head like something from “the crest of some cosmic cloud.”
One Idea – which I thought was pure genius – was to have a submarine painted like a giant whale wearing an I ♥ NYC t-shirt that would circle Manhattan under water. unfortunately his big idea is dashed by the fact that the waters surrounding New York City – the Hudson and the Atlantic – are so polluted that you can’t see ten feet in front of you. “A single complication could easily put the kabash on a genius thought. Even though I would still like to see it with my own eyes.”
It was then that I realized something: I do have good ideas, I have pages upon pages of them written down. And while on average I don’t have one great idea per day, I do have a few. Besides one idea per day would be detrimental in the long run, I wouldn’t get anything down. As I would get an idea and got hyped and excited and sit down to start writing, another one you come again and the process would repeat itself, resulting in nothing ever getting done.
My real problem isn’t that I don’t have ideas, or even good ideas, for that matter; my problem is that I don’t take the ideas that I have and develop them.
The point is that all you need to start writing is one idea to get the ball rolling, and I am willing to bet if you have ever even thought about writing or wanted to be a writer you have had at least one good idea, or at least one thing that you have felt passionate enough about to want to write about it, and all you need is one idea.