Hey, welcome back!
How are you? I’m good. Here are my writerly thoughts from last week:
- I listened to a few podcasts on song writing. Before you all grip the edge of your seat and gasp – ‘OMG Lucy’s going to be the first romcom author to write a pop song’ – I can assure you I didn’t listen to them for that purpose. I was interested in the creative song writing process. I find listening to other creators talking about how they bring things (art / music / books) to life really interesting. My favourite was the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast on Spotify and ‘How Harry Styles Made ‘Harry’s House’ – Kid Harpoon, producer song writer. I loved listening about how ideas for songs are born, how the creative process can be as chaotic as writing, how they take pieces of songs they wrote years ago and slot them into new songs to make something which works, how they will revise again and again, how they build a body of work over time and how some songs take months, even years and some take days. So much of this is the same for writing.
- Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book, ‘Big Magic‘ was right about when a magical idea comes knocking, you have three options. This idea will try to get your attention. A lot of the time you won’t notice it as you’ll be too wrapped up in a funny TikTok, the book you’re reading, a conversation with someone or shopping. If you do recognise it the idea will ask – do you want to work with me? If you don’t fulfil your half of the invisible contract it will go find somebody else. In 2020 I had an idea for a book. It was a detailed idea with an unusual premise. I wrote it out in a notebook with the title, plot and synopsis. Then a pandemic got in the way and my idea sat in a notebook for two years. Clearly the idea viewed the pandemic as a rubbish excuse for me not fulfilling my part of the contract and it went to find a new home. New ideas are so disloyal. Last week I saw my idea on Twitter – someone else had been contacted by the EXACT same idea. They had gone further and written a book with my title and premise. All credit to that writer 👏🏻👏🏻 The fault here is all mine. I had locked it away in a notebook with a vague promise of a return. The bit which really made me angry at myself was that the other writer had secured a book deal. The moral of the story – don’t trust new story ideas and don’t think cute story ideas will be happy to sit and look pretty for two years in a dusty old notebook. Sigh!
- First rule of writing: hoard notebooks. Second rule of writing: never write in your 28 notebooks that you have hoarded
- I had an amazing new idea come to me in the frozen aisle of the supermarket last week. It asked me to work with it by the frozen breaded turkey burgers. All my ideas come to me in the freezer section of a supermarket. Most arrive as I am reaching for the fish fingers but this one pinged in as I gazed longingly at the freezer food. Now that I have been betrayed by a new idea (see above) I am wary of them. I have written it down in a notebook and I plan to write it next. Watch this space.
- I will leave you with a photo of a supermarket freezer aisle in case any of you are struggling with new ideas. The colder the better. Good bye my friend – until next week!