Intrigue: Thought: What will You be Writing Next?

Almost as soon as you have published your last great work it is a fact that the writer’s mind turns to questions about what to write next. Of course there are many challenges to getting this done, includ­ing:

If you write a blog then chances are you put yourself under enorm­ous pressure to write that next great piece, and then the mind goes blank, you look at yourself in the mirror all you see is a thousand question marks, each telling their story, each having a person­al failure to hammer at you, each egging you on but at the same giving nagging doubts, the longer you leave writing the great­er the doubts become. Then you find you are no longer writing, having succumbed to the worst of your own fears.

Hopefully you have a good day job that allows you to grow as a writer and affords you time to take ample notes, but this isn’t always possible, so you have to use your mind as a way to collect ideas that can be jotted down later in your notebook or journ­al.

So what are you going to write next? I have two tasks on my plate today, paint­ing a room and start­ing to write a manual for a course we shall be running in the future. One of these gives me time to reflect, but the other is a major task that won’t be accom­plished in a single day and in the meanwhile I will have oppor­tun­it­ies to write on other topics, yet accom­plish those other tasks at the same time, fortu­nately our subcon­scious mind allows us to think in multiple direc­tions at the same time.

Human Mind by themindunleashed.org

The human mind is a wonder­ful thing and only about 10% of the things we achieve come from the conscious part of the mind. Our conscious mind drives so much of who or what we are, it could be compared to the command centre, yet so much more comes from the subcon­scious and uncon­scious portions of our mind which act as the engine room carry­ing out the direc­tions sent their way, tasks that the conscious mind has set them. This is one of the key reasons writers should have a journ­al in which we jot down ideas (indeed any invent­ive person should have such a journ­al) but ideas noted down need to be regularly reviewed to see if they can be expan­ded..

Is it time for an idea to come to fruition? Only time will tell. For the writer those ideas can rattle around in the subcon­scious for quite a time before finding the appro­pri­ate moment at which they must be expressed. I find this as true for this article as for any other that I have written.

Should we rush to formu­late those ideas? Someone told me a long time ago that there is nothing as bad as a half-baked idea, yet at times it seems the only choice is to formu­late the half-baked idea knowing that you need input from others in order to move it forward, so of course there is room to publish thoughts that are not fully tested, of course the writer must put forward such ideas with less author­ity than those which have been subject to rigor­ous testing, although such ideas are no less valid, perhaps simply a little rawer, perhaps even uncooked, but if you thinks about it every recipe needs its raw ingredi­ents.

Uncooked by PublicDomainPictures CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay

Truth is writers have to constantly be on the lookout for new mater­i­al, but at the same time they come across many snippets of inform­a­tion that may or may not be of any use in the future, that is what is the purpose of a writer’s journ­al to record something which may have future value. One thing the journ­al is not is a diary or account of how good or bad the day was, instead it is a place to record ideas, snippets, things you have heard etc. Personally I use an electron­ic journ­al, but I know many writers use a paper notebook to jot down their exper­i­ences and things they hear or see.

I often take notes for ideas, perhaps they are only a paragraph in length, but if I look back at my notes on a regular basis, adding new thoughts when they occur it may take sever­al weeks before an idea resembles anything that can be used as the basis for an article, but of course there is still a long way to go before the piece is publish­able.

Some notes never get beyond a paragraph or two, perhaps gather­ing dust, never really coming togeth­er, perhaps they are ready to be deleted (let’s face it not every idea is worthy of pursu­ing to comple­tion). If you don’t gather the thoughts though they can never go anywhere, which is why I think that note-taking is an essen­tial skill for any writer.

Whats next by Maklay62 CC0 Public Domain from PixabaySo, what will you be writing next?

Have you formu­lated any idea yet? It is something I am always think­ing about, which is why I have never really suffered writer’s block, I may not feel like writing on  a partic­u­lar day, but that is not in my mind the same as having writer’s block, if I stop writing I feel the pain (or perhaps guilt) of not working on something, time to return to that question — what will you be writing next? With that nagging thought in the air it is neces­sary to start some notes and get the subcon­scious or uncon­scious working on a new project.

What will it be? I have just thought about mine (and jotted down a few notes), but have you thought about yours?

Writing is however more than simply jotting down a few thoughts and throw­ing them out into the ether, our ideas have to be gathered, ration­al­ised, put in order, crafted in a way to make logic­al sense, sanit­ised, decom­posed, put back togeth­er, edited, read out loud, then re-edited in order to be ready for public­a­tion, even on a humble public­a­tion like a blog takes more effort than dropping a collec­tion of thoughts onto the page, thrown togeth­er in a random way. Writers use words, sentences and paragraphs in a logic­al way in order to make sense and devel­op the story which will be under­stood by our readers.

One writer recently told me “there have been many times where I had ‘writers block’ until about an hour before a deadline each time somehow I have managed to put an article togeth­er. Strangely enough my editor OFTEN commen­ted that those were my best work, not knowing they were written in a blur”. Truth is that looming deadline can cause us to focus when neces­sary. I take the oppos­ite view prefer­ring to edit and re-edit my work in plenty of time to meet the deadline, I will not send it in till the last minute because I still think I can improve it.

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee as a thank you for discuss­ing the challen­ging topic of devel­op­ing ideas for your writing. The images used here were either created or owned by Peter Giblett, or come from a royalty free image collec­tion purchased by the writer or have been sourced from a public domain location, such as Pixabay.

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6 Comments

  1. Hello Peter congrat­u­la­tions with this amazing page. Your comment is timely and relev­ant, “I’ll Be Back.”
    I have started a page called My Amphora of Precious Words. I would welcome a comment from you sometime.
    Warm regards, Andre’ (Tranquilpen)

    • Andre, I have just taken a look at your page and promise that I’ll be back to read more.

  2. As a new blogger, I really enjoyed reading this a lot! I found that it truly helps keeping a notepad handy (or even your phone) to put down ideas that may come at random times. I used to be worried about running out of things to write about but once I started doing this I was surprised by the overflow­ing amount of ideas that came to me. Hoping this honey­moon don’t end! haha

    • I have ideas occur to me at peculi­ar times and it is one of the aspects of being a writer that we gain inspir­a­tion from those events we witness.

  3. As a new blogger, I really enjoyed reading this a lot! I found that it truly helps keeping a notepad handy (or even your phone) to put down ideas that may come at random times. I used to be worried about running out of things to write about but once I started doing this I was surprised by the overflow­ing amount of ideas that came to me. Hoping this honey­moon don’t end!! haha

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