Battling Guilt and New Ideas

Battling Guilt and New Ideas

By Natalie Bright

Deadlines loom, whether self-imposed or not, on our writing. The fact is, you must have loads of self-discipline because writing doesn’t come easy. Distractions assault you from a multitude of sources.

This past year, I found myself being more and more consumed by new story ideas. I had been focusing on a series of middle grade westerns featuring a feisty eleven year old by the name of Silver Belle. Her adventures wake me up at night. However, the urge to finish an inspirational book about the loss of our baby tugged at my heart. That project is now an eBook. GONE NEVER FORGOTTEN is available on Smashwords.

Time to tackle Silver Belle’s second adventure? No way. The story about a frontier kid and a Comanche brave who form a friendship at a Texas Fort continues to pester my brain. Good grief; more research.

Guilt: for missing two contest deadlines, for abandoning Silver Belle in mid-adventure, and for feeding my family take out every night for a week. Even so, thank goodness I agreed to volunteer at the Scholastic Book Fair at my son’s school where I discovered a lovely book by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, EMILY’S FORTUNE.

While learning more about her work, I found this on the Houghton Mifflin Reading site:

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor says the hardest part of being a writer is focusing only on the book she is currently writing. She constantly comes up with new ideas and characters. Every time she gets a new book idea, she puts the title of the book on a three-ring binder. As she thinks up characters and scenes for that book, she jots them down in the notebook. She usually has about ten of these idea notebooks on her shelf while she is writing a book.

Isn’t that the best inspiration ever?!!!  I do keep an idea notebook. For every story idea noted, there’s at least one ignored with the thought that I’d never have time to research and write it.

In the coming New Year, I promise myself to never abandon new ideas and to joyfully write in my idea notebook, guilt free!

Have you started your idea notebook yet?

Sending wishes that you have a blessed and productive New Year in 2012!

Natalie Bright

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