Inspiration Strikes without Warning

One of the awesome things about being a writer is sudden bursts of inspiration. They frequently come at unexpected times, and they often happen when you are doing something completely unrelated to a project.

Two weeks ago, I was on my way to the grocery store. I was driving south on Tennessee Street and gazing over at Watson Park, when I got hit in the brain with a creative lightning bolt. I’d been working on Ghost of a Chance, the fourth book in the Wolf Dasher series, and I was stuck. I couldn’t quite figure out where the story was going and how it was going to get to the conclusion I wanted.

I’ve no idea why grocery shopping should unlock my mind. I’ve driven my truck thousands of times without any sort of inspiration striking me.

But there it was — the solution I’d been searching for. My brain started racing with possibilities. Lots of threads fell into place.

I make my grocery lists on a miniature yellow pad, and I was very glad that I carry the whole pad with me to the store, along with a pen to cross things off as I buy them. When I got to the store, I pulled into a parking space, grabbed the pad, flipped to a blank page, and started writing furiously. I made two pages of notes, so I wouldn’t forget anything.

When I made it home, I only put the groceries away first, because I didn’t want the meat to spoil. As soon as I was done, I sat down with my master notebook, transferred my notes, and then reorganized the entire first part of the book, necessitating rewriting and reordering everything I’d written so far.

This week, I’ve been working on the fourth draft of Roses Are White, third book in the series (and due out at the end of the month!). You’d think I’d have enough to think about with one book. But, no, I was folding laundry between chapters when another thunderbolt hit me. It didn’t matter that I was working on Roses Are White; in a quiet moment, Ghost of a Chance leaped into my head and offered me another twist on the ending.

Creativity is a habit, I think. When you train your mind to think about stories and plot twists and turns of phrase, your brain keeps cooking them whether you are actively considering them or not. When they are done, they pop out of the subconscious like bread from a toaster. I’ve been in creative mode for weeks, and ideas just keep coming to me.

SoG Cover Mk III 2Of course, I still don’t know where they come from. They pop in on their own schedule.

But it’s always exciting when they do. It’s one of the most rewarding things about being a writer.

***

Speaking of the Wolf Dasher series, State of Grace, Wolf”s first adventure is free through Friday. You can get in on the ground floor at no cost in time to be ready for Roses Are White when it releases on April 29. Click here to download State of Grace to your Kindle-enabled device for free now!

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