Thursday, February 3, 2011

Playing the Writing Lottery

When I first began trying to get this ship off the ground, my mind felt like it was trying to force rusty gears to spin.  Ideas were coming slowly and unreliably.  I figured, I've got all the time in the world!  No worries, this will happen eventually.  But secretly I was afraid that the well would dry up and I would find myself staring at a blank screen, my jaw open, maybe a line of drool running down.  Lovely picture. 

What I'm finding instead is that the more I write, the more the ideas start to flow.  I can start on one topic and little tangents start springing off and going this-way and that.  I notice this a lot when I write the articles.  This topic leads to that one, and this to that other and so on and so forth.  Since I can track what people are searching for when they find my articles, I can use that for inspiration, too. (In fact, if the well ever truly does run dry, I'm going to hit those lists for ready-made topics.)  One of the best places for thinking of ideas is work (hee hee).  My mind wanders and the what-ifs start to happen.   I love typing that first sentence and watching and seeing where it goes. 

I've spread out a bit more, too.  I currently have five queries floating in the ether.  I'm sure to most professional writers that's a joke, a drop in the bucket.  But for me that's really exciting!  And that's the lottery, right there.  Any one of those could hit, or they all could flop.  When you play the lottery, you don't actually play to win.  You play for the chance, that one shining moment where all the stars align.  You know full well you'll most likely never hit the lottery, but my god, it's fun to try.  I don't expect any of those queries to land.  But you know what?  I don't care!  It's fun!  I'm playing for the game! I'm watching my hits slowly creep up, hoping that what I've written helped somebody in some way, even if it's just an idea for dinner. 

I'm also hopeful that inspiration will hit and I'll come up with a brilliant idea for that elusive short story.  I know it will happen sooner or later, but in the meantime I'll follow all of these leads that I've managed to accumulate.

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