Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to inspire Teresa

...which is me, in case you hadn't noticed where you are on the internet.

While other writers may have muses, I have only my foggy brain and killer wit to inspire me. And probably not the latter either. I'm a writer; I make things up and think I'm funny.

So, this foggy brain o' mine is not exactly good at coming up with great ideas at a moment's notice. But thanks to my Spec-Fic critique group's slave-driving dedicated leader, Russell, I'm expected to produce a story for the group to critique once every seven weeks. Where the heck am I supposed to come up with that many stories a year?  Sure, I could edit some stories and re-submit to the group, but since I'm not writing novels, seeing the same short story more than three times in a year can get pretty boring.

What to do? What to do? While perusing my over-stuffed bookcases, I found this little gem:

So I flip through it, having no memory of buying it, and a lightbulb goes on! Heeey, I write Speculative Fiction; I should write a short story on every topic in that book. Perhaps in alphabetical order? 

It beats standing on street corners and panhandling for ideas, or trying to win the idea lottery.

I think I'm going to do it. I love giving myself challenges that make me pull my hair out. I know how to have fun!

What about you? If you write, how do you come up with ideas one after another?

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day." – Alexander Woolcott


Under the Willow said...

Interesting Teresa that you came upon that book- AND what a clever approach (certainly not boring) getting these writing assignments completed.

How do I come up with ideas? I'm a dreamer, started seriously writing in elementary school- kept writing journals since maybe 3rd grade (?).

I tell my grand girls stories every time we get together- some a bit scary, some a bit sad, but mostly happy, and always leave an open end to the story SO it will continue.... they love it- and I love it too.

TeresaR said...

Carrie, I wish I were as creative as you! Honestly, on some days, for me, it's worse than giving birth (18 hours of labor is much less painful than trying to think of something to write). I'm hoping I'll be inspired by the "weird and wonderful" things in the book. I just love writing about the impossible, the magical, and the fantastic…when I actually have an idea. ;)

Your grand-girlies are very lucky!

Under the Willow said...

I sent you an email- BUT what fun to create stories from the impossible, the magical and fantastic!

Epicure68 said...

You can blog about it on a daily basis too. The SF version of Julie and Julia, although I have no idea what yours would be called. Skeptical and Skepticaler? ;)

Michelle said...

When all else fails I reach into my childhood for inspiration, there are some doosies there, or old old old newspapers. I totally agree with you on the writing and giving birth analogy. Lol!

TeresaR said...

Carrie, got your email!

Epi, er, no thanks. It's bad enough I'll have to write a story... ;D

Michelle, childhood is a great idea! That's how I got the story idea for the first piece I ever sold to a magazine. :)

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Weeelll, I haven't actually had this problem yet. Simply because I'm still working on my FIRST idea--which is taking forever! But I confess, I do have several half-baked ideas floating about my own foggy mind and maybe someday, I'll actually have the time to pursue them. Good luck with your great idea!

TeresaR said...

Holly, knowing me, I'll probably keep it up for maybe a month and it'll go by the wayside. ;P