Writing Ideas: So, Where Do I Begin?

Today’s blog post began with me staring at a cursor and a blank page with an empty mind. Eventually, my brain got the message. “She’s serious. She’s going to make me do this.” And then it started helping me out with ideas. That’s how it works. Every time. Writing means sitting down in front of a computer and exercising your brain in ways that life rarely requires. Your brain wants to scroll your Twitter feed. Maybe read a good story. It wants to consume. What it doesn’t want to do is organize and synthesize ideas.

The truth is that I have lots of ideas. The problem is getting them out of my head and sharing them with the world, when my brain insists that there are so many more urgent matters. There are dishes to be done. Lists to make. Laundry. It’s tempting to simply keep all those thoughts to myself and meditate on them in privacy. I recently read about this phenomenon in an email newsletter by a writing coach who calls it “hoarding”. I’m not a hoarder in real life, but I often hoard all my ideas for future writing projects that never materialize. Anyone who has ever watched the show Hoarders knows how that turns out. Hoards lead to rot and decay.

I started this blog with a 21 Day Writing Challenge. There was a prompt for every day of the challenge. Some of my best content came out of that exercise, and it makes me wonder if I should attempt daily posts again. I’ve been thinking about how to blog more frequently, but one of my biggest challenges is coming up with ideas. By committing to writing more often, with or without a prompt, I may be able to prove to myself that the ideas will come, even when it seems like I don’t know where to begin.

If I were a blog reader, I’d want regular, frequent (even daily) content. Not lengthy researched articles, just a quick peek into the ever-evolving thoughts of another human. Their missteps. Their backtracks. Their tentative mental wanderings. Hopefully, a poem or some short fiction. The occasional glimpse into their personal lives. There’s an element of certainty and consistency but also surprise.