If you are a cat lover, you will know Bonnie as Chey's, Gemini's and Ichiro's servant from Cat Post Intelligencer. When Bonnie isn't slaving for her cats, she's busy writing. Here is her post in Inspiration.
Writing comes naturally to me so finding ways to keep writing comes easily. I have subjects running through my mind in the shower, at night, when I wake up in the morning. When I work out during the day, I’ll have ideas that pop up. The difficulty is not in finding something to write about but to find the time to keep notes on things that seem like subjects I want to tackle.
I have a file full of ideas. If an idea won’t go away, when it keeps coming back and crossing my mind, then it’s time to start a story. I do work from an outline or rather a sort of outline. I like writing a few paragraphs about what I think the story is about. At that point if there are things I need to learn, I’ll look into them. Sometimes I start working on names.
If things stop, then there are always other projects to start outlines on or finding names or moving forward with. I have a series of books as well as writing some stand alone books, so it’s easy enough to come up with another problem for my series characters to deal with. These problems are often things I come across in other books, wondering how would Meg (my main character) deal with that?
Ideas for short stories are harder for me. I’m rather long winded when I write so the novel or novella is a much better length. I like to know why things happen and putting all of that into a short story is harder for me to tackle, but it’s something I’d like to work on.
Every writer works differently, so good ways of coming up with ideas and being really inspired by them to write a story works differently for everyone. Paying attention to the news and reading books you really like is a good way to consider what you want to write.
I heard about a writing exercise where writers randomly looked up five words in a dictionary and had to use a story using all five of those words. I haven’t tried it yet, but I hope to sometime. Exercises like this disengage the mind from story telling and rather engages it with problem solving, which can let ideas flow.
Everyone should experiment with what works for them and then keep writing. The only thing I like better than writing my own work is reading someone else’s.