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No one has asked me where I get inspiration to write, or how do I come up with ideas. So I asked myself and got some interesting answers. Now before this gets completely out of hand, a writer asking such questions is not at all weird or unusual. Talking to ourselves is different from those who also answer.
For me it has to be a vivid imagination. I remember Zig Ziglar commenting in one of his books about the greatest nation in the world. It’s the one named Imagi Nation. That immediately resonated with me simply because I got it.
“Crazy ideas! Don’t you just love them?” A line from the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun, fits right in there, because so many of those ideas spawn from what appear at first to be dis-jointed thoughts. In fact imagination can likely be defined in many ways. One such summed it up in this way. “New ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.”
Not present to the senses. Out of my mind seems to apply, or not consciously entertaining thoughts in a given category. Unconsciously thinking, sure seems like a contradiction of terms, yet to me that seems very natural. How else could you account for ideas that seem to emerge out of nowhere?
To me the so called subconscious mind is like that. It’s sort of out there in that place called nowhere. See, here I go off on a tangent, fully prepared to discuss the merits of nowhere and how invisible thoughts emanate secretly from that noplace. Now my spell checker put a red line under that word as not existing, but I content that spell checker needs to get an education.
Is it still difficult to imagine where I come up with things to write about? My greatest desire is to pass along this ability to others who desire to write, but find it next to impossible to come up with the “what” to write.
Fiction is not my thing, or at least I have never really entertained any serious thoughts about it. Still, I do have several “Christmas Chronicles” spread out over a period of roughly ten years. Based on the “Night Before Christmas” story, the idea was to create memories using our sons various events throughout the year and weave them into the story in poetry form, ending with a delivery to the birth of Jesus.
So I guess I can’t really say fiction is not my thing. Better said it is not a conscious thing. It seems to come when my fingers get on the keyboard with no particular thought in mind. It comes from “noplace!” Sorta like these words that somehow get the letters mixed up that are different than what my fingers typed. If I type from it seems to change invisibly to form. I may have a dyslexic keyboard. Hmm…that could be an interesting story.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, and mine doesn’t stand a chance of that happening. What really is somewhat amusing, is most think it resides inside a skull. All that mushy stuff that works together to make my eyes blink or my lungs breathe. Nope, not the mind.
I contend the mind is simply the brain’s ability to connect to countless thoughts held in the limitless space between quarks. No not quacks such as in ducks, but quarks such as what atoms are made of, or at least what the neutrons and protons that make the atoms.
It’s an infinitesimal space that can contain an equally infinitesimal number of thoughts, that never cease to exist. So how do I know? Well this may be my fiction at work, there may be some truth, or a combination thereof. I do believe that is a relatively simple definition of fiction. Often more truth than fiction as a matter of fact.
So how is this doing so far in convincing you, the reader, that ideas for writing just pretty much can come out of thin air? Just for me? Not a chance. Then maybe it’s like speaking before a group of people. Still one of the biggest fears for the greater majority of people. I’m not one of ‘em! Anyone who knows me will vouch for that in a heartbeat.
The truth is it is a learned behavior, just as going to noplace to discover those crazy ideas that become genius. It takes the “want to” for that to happen. I like what Lisa Nichols says in a recent interview. When asked about her fear to write her first books, she says it this way.
“I hold fear in one hand, and all my commitment, passion and determination in the other.” She led out with the one while holding back with the other. Fear was held in check, while she moved forward with her passion.
I saw it as holding back the fear, while releasing the passion, commitment, desire, determination and belief to move forward. Even an addict can reach the point where the fear of facing the pain of their addiction, becomes less than the fear of staying where they are. So it is for writers.
I saw a post recently of someone who described themselves as a “closet writer.” That resonated with me simply because if my writing has stayed hidden in files on my hard drive, what’s the difference. They may as well be hidden away in a dark file cabinet, or a dark closet.
It was reading a book by Jeff Goins, then another by Bryan Hutchinson, both who struggled with the idea of being writers until the moment came when they could no longer deny it.
Some things will lie dormant for indefinite periods of time, eventually rising to the surface to no longer be rejected.
It appears this is what has finally happened to me, just as it did to both of them. Jeff and Bryan are published writers, with thousands of books sold. My two little eBooks may have garnered 50 sold over the course of three years. There’s a good reason for that which has nothing to do with the content. Finding a good book has as much to do with promotion as any other one thing. The best book in the world will never be read, if people can’t find it.
Like thousands of others I thought if I wrote it and put it on Amazon/Kindle, why it was there for the whole world to see. That’s true, along with how many millions of others? The ones that get noticed are those with a promo team behind them that starts months in advance of publication promoting the book. Lesson learned.
So for you reading this be aware there is a new voice emerging that intends to be heard. Only because there are those with a need, maybe even a desperate one, to be encouraged that they too have a voice that needs to be heard. Is that you? Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.