Taking Stock of Your Ideas

Back in the dark days when I worked in retail, the dullest thing in the world was auditing and stock taking. Climbing up shelves, making sure what was there lined up with the computer systems... uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.

...But as a writer, taking stock of things can be a pretty good idea, especially if you're not sure what to write next. I've finished  a project I started in April, and I'm currently mulling over what to do next. I tend to find this "between books" phase a blend of excitement (oooh, what about this idea?), and total frustration (uuuuugh, that'll never work).

I love writing, but sometimes I don't have enough of an idea to carry out into an entire novel. So I like to take stock of these ideas. I've talked before about my "I Want To Write..." book, but you're just as likely to find me staring out into space daydreaming about the fragments I have and what I could do with them.

Music, as you all know, is an essential part of my writing routine. When I'm taking stock of ideas, I love to just listen to music and let it take me on a journey. Sometimes it takes me back to ideas I had years ago, back when I used to take the bus to school or university every day and daydream the journey away.

I think lacking a solid idea to write for any writer is a frustrating time. Sure, I have more free time right now to channel into videogames (Dark Souls, you and I have such a love/hate relationship) and reading, but what I really want to find is my next idea. And an idea I can successfully divorce from the whole "THIS MUST BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR AGENTS AND PUBLICATION!" which is definitely one of the hardest things any non-agented/unpublished/rejected but REFUSING TO QUIT writer has to wrestle with. Taking stock of what scraps and hints you do have can keep you from going completely barmy.


  1. This is such a great way to do it. I keep a whiteboard in my study with a list of all active projects, prioritised. I strike them out as I do them and scribble in new ones as the whim takes me. It's a nice visual reminder of my plan for the year, and how far off the trail I've gone/what projects I loved in January and still need to finish.

    Now you've got me writing up a whiteboard blog for the end of the month. :)

    1. That sounds like such a great idea! I love having visual reminders of the journey so far.

      ^_^ Hooray for whiteboards.


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