The Idea Fairy
This post originally appeared on Medium.com.
Ancient Greece had the Muses. Nine goddesses that were blessed with various talents such as art, dance, and music. Their gifts inspired mankind to write, sing, and create magnificent works of art.
There are the ancient Egyptians with their goddess Hathor. She represented joy, love, music, and dance. And don’t forget Seshat, goddess of reading, writing, and architecture. And also Thoth, god of writing, wisdom, and knowledge.
Then there’s Saraswati, a Hindu goddess. Bragi, a Norse god. Kokopelli, a shared southwestern Native American deity. And Lono, a Hawaiian goddess.
I’m sure I could go on and on, but this isn’t a research paper. Though, in doing my five minute research on “muses in other cultures” an idea has begun to form. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the point of this article.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
How true, Ms. Plath.
Writing is the only career that has ever really called to me. Sadly, up until my mid-twenties I was under the impression that to become a writer I would have to be struck by the idea fairy. And those dang muses weren’t speakin’ to me.
At the age of 25 I had the technical skills, thanks to a fantastic high school english teacher, and two fantastic Latin professors. (For the love! Why doesn’t the english language make any sense until you understand latin? But I digress.) But I had no burning ideas. Then something life-altering happened to our family and I took to writing as a sort of therapy. I wrote 100 pages and realized that maybe others would like to hear our story. Thanks to my father being an author, he has passed some of his connections on to me. I utilized one of those connections and sent those 100 pages to one of his friends in the biz. And she said she liked what I had written!
Here’s where my first real idea came from. Wanna hear what it was? Well, I’ll tell you. My first real idea was, ANYTHING can be a story. In this case, it was literally my journal. I hadn’t embellished or improvised. It was exactly what we were going through at the time. It was interesting because life was difficult at the time and us humans, well, we love a little drama (or a lot.) My life right now is less captivating. Does that mean I couldn’t write about it now? Heck no! It would just take a little more imagination, an embellishment here, a dragon there, and voila! A story for the ages.
This realization has changed how I look at writing. It’s changed how I look at the world really. There’s a story around every corner, in every closet (or wardrobe!) and all we have to do is have the guts to make it ours. (The wardrobe one is already taken. Sorry.) There aren’t any muses who are going to shoot the perfect, best-selling, award-winning idea into our head. We have to look for it. So pay attention to the world around you. Keep a dream journal (those suckers are just crazy enough to make for some pretty epic sci-fi.) And always have a notebook with you. Always! Even if that notebook is on your phone and you’re “Hey, Siri”-ing while you’re in the shower. Some ideas will be garbage, but some will be gold. And some of that garbage can be turned into gold.
Have the guts, and the imagination to get that story you’ve been waiting for. Don’t doubt yourself and be your own idea fairy.
Do you have a story in you? Of course you do! For a lot of us, the hardest part of writing a novel is just getting started. Research shows us that having a support system ups our chances of success. While most of the writing life is a solitary experience, there is much to be gained from knowing that you have friends that are on the journey along with you. We at Dabble love to write and want to demonstrate, in real time and in front of the world, what it looks like to go from idea to plan to first draft. That’s why we’re kicking off the “Write A Novel With Dabble In 60 Days” challenge. If you find yourself in need of camaraderie, we’d love for you to join us as we work toward completing the challenge. We’d love to hear encouragement from you, and we’d love to send some of that encouragement back to you! With a band of friends and the ultimate writing tool at our fingertips, there’s nothing we can’t do together—and we’re going to prove it. We’ll be planning weekly check-ins to share with each other, and those of you that embark on this journey with us. You’ll have a front-row seat for our successes and frustrations. You’ll see and hear how we are finding solutions to story problems that are hiding along the way and hold each other lovingly accountable throughout the process. We believe so much in the power of Dabble to help writers see their dreams realized on the page, we’re going to put our keyboards into action. We hope you’ll join us!
Essentially, a beta reader is an (hopefully) objective third party who will read your novel or story and provide (hopefully) constructive feedback. A beta reader is not an editor, and often they’re not writers either, though there’s a good chance a lot of your beta readers are going to be authors as well.
If you’re a regular writer of romance or are looking to dive into this popular genre, you might be on the lookout for some stellar plot ideas. Spend any time reading and exploring the genre and you’ll know that romance is just one word for dozens of different subgenres all with their own tone and style.