Why do I bring this particular example of marketing inanity to light today?
Well, I was banging away at my new novel idea all day yesterday,
Which is normal, I know. But boy, is it hard not to get discouraged when I'm sitting at my computer, staring at the screen, and thinking, "Ok, plot. Yup. Need a plot. Yes indeed. Gotta getta plot. And - GO! GO PLOT! GO NOW! Plot? Anyone? Plot?"
Needless to say, I didn't get anywhere for quite a while. Other people might call this writer's block; I call it PJS, or Plot Just Sucks. Ask me to brainstorm about characters or setting or theme and I can prattle on and on for pages. But ask me to come up with a story arc and I'm useless.
Clearly, I needed to find some inspiration, and it wasn't coming from inside me. Not yesterday, anyway. (Incidentally, my fellow blogger Adrienne Reiter wrote a post on this last week, about where creativity and inspiration come from. Check it out.)
My own sources of inspiration change from day to day, but there are a few good wells I always turn to, and one of them usually helps me get to work. Yesterday, I needed a bunch of them.
First, I turned on some music. I have a lot of playlists, but when I'm desperate for help, I turn to Sigur Ros.
Second, I created a new Word document, and gave myself license to write whatever came into my head, without censure or editing. The only rule was that I had to keep writing.
Third, I read. In this case tips on how to write romances, and some love-themed short stories.
No, I'm not writing a romance novel. But I am writing an overly complex version of a love story, and the romance genre has some well-established guidelines that it's good for me, as someone who doesn't read a lot of romances, to know about.
And finally, finally, it came: inspiration. At one point, I found myself writing in the first person POV - something I almost never do - as one of the main characters, talking about all the ways these two souls keep finding to lose each other. (If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, read this post.) And then I found myself writing out a small scene-let as a possible way to end of the book. Which is very, very hopeful.
I don't have a plot yet (sigh), but I did get some productive ideas. So for now, I'll just keep making my own inspiration, and plugging away. I'll find the story someday.