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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11 Replies to “Intrigue: Thought: What will You be Writing Next?”

  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)

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      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

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      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

  4. […] Intrigue: Thought: What will You be Writ­ing Next? […]

  5. Brenda Fluharty says: Reply

    Peter I love this arti­cle. Many times it is hard to think of what you will write about next.

  6. […] Intrigue: Thought: What will You be Writ­ing Next? […]

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