If I only had a nickle for every time someone told me they had a great book idea- the one they’re going to write when the kids move out or when they retire or whenever they finally have the time. I sympathize with this. I believe that most people probably do have at least one great story waiting to be told.
It’s the telling of it that makes a difference- and I don’t just mean whether they can tell it well, though that certainly matters. I mean whether they ever sit down and write it. You can go your whole life with a super story in your head. What differentiates writers from everyone else is we write it down.
I know it seems like I just stated the obvious, but I really do think it’s important to remember. I am forever having ideas as I fall asleep and I have internal arguments with myself to justify not getting up to write them down. It’s late, I think. I’ll remember it in the morning. And when I’m lucky and I do remember in the morning, then I get caught up with other things. I have about a 24 hour window. After that, it’s gone.
For every story I have written down, there’s another one I lost by not taking that short moment to make a note of it. And although I can’t remember it, I’m certain it was brilliant.
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year (and even if you’re not) think of this month as the one where you write it all down- every story idea you have. Even if you don’t have time to follow the thread just then, take notes for later. Don’t let those brilliant ideas get lost.
Be a writer!