I’ve always loved to write. I remember telling people when I was in elementary school that one day, I was going to be a famous author. I was convinced that I would spend my life writing novels and poetry. That’s just the way it was. And in elementary school, I seemed to have an endless stream of ideas. I’d sit down with my notebook and start writing about the first thing that came into my head because to me, every idea was worth writing about. Every idea was the best of the best, and every idea was going to be the next great American novel.
Looking back on the past couple years, I realize that I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I used to. And I think I’ve figured out why. Aside from becoming busier and having multiple activities battle for my time, there’s this little voice I started listening to that whispers, “That idea’s not good enough. Who do you think wants to read about that?” And so I respond with, “Fine, I’ll just wait for a better idea to come along.”
And before I know it, all of 2014 has crept by and I still haven’t written a story because the perfect idea hasn’t arrived yet. Heck, I even procrastinated on writing this post because I couldn’t think of a good enough idea. But I’m thinking about my elementary school self right now, and I’m thinking hey! My stories might have been pretty dumb back then (I mean, I wrote about an alien farting his way around Earth), but my unwavering confidence in my writing was over the moon.
So what exactly am I trying to say? For someone who considers herself a writer, I’m having a really hard time putting this into words, but it’s something to the extent of this:
We can’t wait for inspiration. It’s true that sometimes, ideas will suddenly pop into our heads. These are the ideas we snatch out of the air and feverishly scribble down in fear of forgetting later on. But for the most part, good ideas don’t come; they’re made. And the best ideas might even start with something dumb.
What’s important is not to stop writing – no matter how dumb the seed of an idea might seem.