As writers, we fully realize that inspiration can hit at any time, and in any situation. And it’s what you do when it does that really matters.
Late last year, I was taking the dog for her last walk of the day. Something about that particular moment triggered a story idea. I won’t say the floodgates of creativeness opened wide; more like the squirt from a water pistol. It was just a sentence, maybe two, but I immediately saw so much potential in it.
We got home, I created a file for it on my computer, and I wrote down the tidbits of story I’d managed to come up with.
And in the hard drive it sat, practically untouched for months on end.
In a manner of speaking.
As is usually the case, even thought I may not actually be writing, I’m always thinking about the writing.
Although I’ve worked on several other scripts this year, every once in a while, a new detail about this story would pop up and I’d add it in. It’s definitely an ongoing work in progress, moving at a glacial pace, and there’s no rush to get it done.
It’s actually very beneficial to not put any pressure on yourself and just let the ideas show up at their convenience. And sometimes it pays off when you least expect it.
About a week ago, I came up with an idea for a short, but then realized the location would be a perfect setting for the climax of this script. Determined to hang onto that idea, I reopened the file and figured it was as good a time as any to to move things forward a little, so I started organizing the plot points. There are still a few blanks to be filled in, but it’s slowly coming together.
When the’s next time I’ll work on it? No idea. It’s still very, very early in the development process. A few other scripts currently have priority over this one, but I highly suspect the trend of occasionally adding a few details will continue.
As it should. And then when I finally get around to focusing all of my attention on this one, chances are I might be further along than I expect.
So keep on working on whatever it is you’re currently working on. But feel free to let your imagination wander about once in a while into something else, particularly something you plan to eventually work on. See what you come up with, and if you like it, stash it away for later. Hold onto it even if you’re not that crazy about it; you might find a totally unexpected use for it later.
No matter what you do, Future You will really appreciate everything Present You is doing.