Every writer has their strengths and weaknesses, no matter what kind of writing they do. There are many fascinating sides to writing, but the element that is most interesting to me is how people come up with their ideas.
Personally, whenever I read or write, I see the events sprawling in front of me like we would see in a movie or a TV show. I can picture my characters and their physical attributes and they’ll be acting out the plot that I created while I try to get it all down on paper. The part that I struggle with the most, though, is coming up with the initial idea.
In my experience, I am always doing something important when a good idea hits me. For example, I was brushing my hair and trying to smooth out a huge tangle, when I thought of a great idea for a short story involving a young girl who was contemplating cutting all her hair so she could donate it to an organization. Within a minute of this original thought, a scene formed in my head and I felt a thrill from it. I ran frantically around the room looking for paper and a pen to scratch down a couple keywords in order to bring the image back later. Unfortunately for me, my hairbrush was still tangled in my hair and whacked me a number of times while I wrote my idea down. In the end, the bruises were worth it because the idea panned out and I got a good story out of it.
Those exhilarating moments of moments of inspiration can often be sparked by the smallest things, such as my hair brushing incident. That being said, there are times where weeks will pass and I won’t get a single moment of inspiration and, needing to write, I will try to create an idea from scratch that I am passionate about. The inspired moments always give me the energy to write them and make them strong pieces, whereas the ideas I create on my own always lack the initial excitement and, though I tend to get excited when I start writing, it takes long for me to complete them.
There is also the fact that I will be in the middle of writing a story that I created out of thin air, BOOM, an exciting new idea pops into my head and then I’m torn between writing the new, more exciting idea, and finishing the other one that I was halfway through creating. Those moments always leave me frustrated and I have abandoned novels that got ditched for a new idea.
So, here is my debate: Is it better to write a story using the the infrequent, unreliable moments of inspiration? Or is it safer to think of my own plots and create my own inspiration to write about them? Or should I use a combination of the two in order to make a really strong plot?