And bits and nibbles
Perfect conditions to write: A working laptop, one or two notepads, a cup of tea, and the right music (right now, Kill It Kid.)
Well, these conditions are only valid once I’ve got The Idea.
The Idea (n, /ʌɪˈdɪə/): Thought about something you want to write, that chases you endlessly, then hides when you want to catch it, then comes back when you’re in the shower or working on something else.
Having The Idea is like meeting someone new, talking with them and realising they’re the perfect match. It leaves you with butterflies and fire running through your veins.
When I have The Idea, I feel invincible. I talk about it, I write about it. I imagine scenes and characters (if it’s a story), angles and ways to tell (if it’s an article or a blog post).
Just like in a bad relationship, the worst is yet to come, and I fall for it everytime. Every.Single.Time.
Turning The Idea into something real.
Sometimes it takes hours, when I’m lucky, or free. It takes days, most of the time, I thank deadlines for that. I never believed in the power of imposed deadlines until I realised it made me do things instead of dreaming about it. Dreams are both my saviour and my enemy. It takes days, when I play around the idea, I start writing characters, and the adrenalin rush is simply delicious. Or I start writing an article, and I feel the happiest because I know I convey something good/interesting/fun.
Sometimes, it takes months. It’s when I start to question The Idea: We worked together, I wrote words around you, concepts, but something’s missing. When I start to treat The Idea as a chore rather than an exciting date, it’s not good. Not good at all. It must end.
I’m always tempted to throw everything away because I can’t stand frustration and most of all, I can’t stand failure. But The Idea holds me back, begging me not to leave, not now.
But sometimes you have to let go.
It’s happening right now with Heaven Tonight. I’ve been working on it since June last year, but it doesn’t come up nicely. I’ve wasted two drafts, tried different ways to tell Heaven’s story. I have songs written about her, but nothing more than two chapters. So it’s time to let Heaven go, for now. I want to focus on other stories, without pressure. I want to focus on articles, on other characters to meet.
I’m pretty sure The next Idea is here, waiting for the right time to haunt me again. Until then, tea, editing, writing, and music.