I have been guilty many times of procrastinating. I know what I want but I run around in circles searching for that starting point, or worse still I busy myself with other things which shifts my mind’s focus. I’ve come to realise this doesn’t achieve anything, because I’m only satisfied when I accomplish the goal I set. Wasting time procrastinating is a useless endeavour. I’ve learned I am a much happier person when I set myself a goal and just do it!
The first thing I do is believe in myself. I trust that the material for my story will present itself. Armed with this belief and trust I search for the inspiration that will plant the seed of my story:
Ideally an idea pops into my head; the jist of a story.
If I am completely lost (more often than not) I set myself a project. It could be a specific genre, word count or a story with a twist. I read a lot of short stories and set myself a task of writing a story to the guidelines of a specific magazine.
I search for inspiration by going for a walk and becoming the observer. I watch the characters in my outside world and the situations that unfold. I ask myself a lot of ‘what ifs’.
Watching television, reading newspapers, magazines, fiction and non-fiction books stirs up my creative juices and sparks up ideas. It could be something that is thought provoking, moves me emotionally, something I’m passionate about, something funny, intriguing or mysterious that makes me wonder and ask questions. It may give me ideas for a beginning, middle, ending or simply a title to a story. I take whatever comes and build from there. Once there are words on my page and I have something to work with, there is hope.
Your story won’t write itself. Believe and trust in your ability as a writer and search for inspiration. Don’t think about it – JUST DO IT!