‘There is no such thing as a new idea’, Mark Twain once wrote. Which is bad news for anyone trying to be original! But as he goes on to say, we can create new and endless numbers of new combinations. Still, what if you find that you keep coming up with ideas that have already been done? I’m reading a charming little book at the moment, ‘How To Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush’, (quite easily, it seems, apparently Austrian men aren’t up to much) where the protagonist dreams of becoming an author. The only problem is that every story she comes up with has already been written …. by Charlotte Bronte or Stephen King!
It’s something of an occupational hazard for storytellers – even when it comes to choosing a title for your book. A quick search on Google will reveal that your…
There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:
Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.
Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure…
This post is about setting up pages – or SPREADS as they are known in the Bullet Journal community.
Before I even started, I worked out what I needed to help with my blogging activities each month.
A monthly overview (1 page)
A weekly calendar that would incorporate my To Do lists (4-5 pages)
Blog post ideas and earnings (1 page)
A daily checklist with a list of blogging tasks and stat tracker for the month that would incorporate clients social media trackers too (1 page)
For the last two years, I’ve requested one thing for Christmas – a notebook. In that notebook, I keep ongoing trackers of my blog and social media stats, monthly and daily checklists, trackers of my social media client stats and some ideas and small drafts for blog posts.
What I didn’t realise that I was doing was creating my own version of a bullet journal. In fact, up until about two months ago I’d never really heard much about them, that is, until I watched a ‘July Plan With Me’ YouTube tutorial from AmandaRachLee on creating a monthly set of ‘spreads,’ (that’s page layouts to us ordinary folk). Since then it has become a bit of an obsession – I’ve watched more tutorials than I can count, allowed myself a small budget to buy materials, practiced different handwriting styles and layouts and began the process of setting up a bullet…
By now I guess, it’s known that I have been sick for a few weeks, being ‘blessed’ with shingles and pneumonia to the same time. I could have done the one without both, but after all, I’m afraid, I had to take it the way it got me.
Now, being in pain and feeling sick, having a fever and not finding any comfortable position, I wasn’t able to do much more than drinking, resting, sleeping, watching TV and trying to keep my cats away from climbing on me.
And here exactly is the point I start complaining…
I’m a writer. A sick writer. And I would have loved to ‘use’ the time getting some work done. Typing, blogging, scribbling, planning new stories, reading and whatever else belongs to a writer’s life, but I had no chance.
Shingles caused me that much pain that all I could do was trying to find a way to spend the days on the couch with plenty of pain killers inside of me that nearly knocked me out. There was no way I would have been able to sit behind the computer and type much.
I was unable to turn onto my stomach to write by hand on paper. And when I tried to read I started feeling dizzy enough, I was ready to vomit.
I wanted to work, develop ideas, find new characters, plots, storylines, whatever came into my mind, and nothing was possible.
But of course I’m smart, right? I got my phone next to me. And whenever I had an idea, I recorded it. What a wonderful girl I am! The idea would have been amazing, if…
… yes, there’s an ‘if’…
… if, I hadn’t been too sick to make sense.
Yes, you can laugh. I did too once I listened to my ‘notes’. I was sick enough that I couldn’t hear much more than some mumbling. And if there was a clear word or two, it didn’t make sense.
My fever was high enough to cook my brain, which means, the ideas I got are entirely useless. This is annoying and nearly make me consider getting either a secretary, a nurse – or both.
I’m almost sure I’m not the only writer ever being sick. How are you doing this? Are you able to use your time fruitfully during this forced break? If yes, how are you doing it? Thank you for your advice!
Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.
There were a number of reasons for this:
1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.
2. My writing style has changed and my earlier offerings aren’t consistent with the quality (at least, in my opinion) that I produce now.
I’m in fact a little curious how other writers are doing this…
Do you ever feel like your head is bursting with all the ideas you got? How do you sort them out? How do you arrange them?
Let’s say: you get an idea:
·where do you go with it?
·how do you know what to do with it?
·where do you start with it?
·do you file it? And if yes, where?
·do you park it until you need it or are ready to write the story?
At times I feel like my head is exploding, having so many ideas while at other days my brain just goes blank. But once I get these ideas, what am I doing with them? I do have a file on my computer, named “ideas.” Occasionally I go back to find out if they’re useful at that moment. And so many times I realized, that I’ve got no clue what I wanted with that idea or where to go from there. It can be annoying.
Right now I’m working on a series of novellas and novels… the first book of the series is completed and with the editor now. So is the third one.
I’m still writing the second one… but since the first and second’s character’s are “overlapping” I need to work very carefully on that second book to not make plot mistakes I don’t want to expect my future readers to put up with.
I admit, my thoughts, my idea developing and my research circle mainly around this particular series.
When I lately needed a break from working on my second book, I found myself having a brainwave. And instead of “parking” the idea in my particular file, I decided instead to start on the fourth book of the series. I have huge plans for that book, considering I briefly introduced a few of this particular’s story’s characters to my readers of this blog.
To my great astonishment, I found myself writing like crazy on that fourth book. I’m enthusiastic since it seems I only have to put pen to paper and it writes nearly by itself.
Until a few weeks ago when I discovered a new major character of the series I repeated what I did before and quickly decided not to “park” the idea until I get there, but just start the fifth book of the series.
Here I am now, at the same time working on the second, the fourth and the fifth book of the series.
I was asking myself: am I getting into conflicts? What will happen if I can’t ‘switch’ quickly enough and start making mistakes? But so far I’m good, I know exactly which character belongs where and what my plans with them are.
And still: There is this one question: Did I have too many ideas at the same time? Can I continue like this? How are other writers handling this kind of “idea attack”?
Do you ever feel like having “too many ideas”? Are you writing on one and one book or story? Am I doing something wrong? Please, help me out, I’d be grateful for your opinion.