Monday, January 10, 2011

What's In Your Drawers??

Okay, get your brain outta the gutter! lol .... I'm not talking about those drawers. I'm talking about your drawers of plots, schemes, characters, and literary gems.

See, I've got these craft drawers in my "office" that are stuffed with odds and ends: fabrics, beads, pictures, etc ... crafts, in a very broad sense of the word. My hubby loathes these drawers. If he had his way he'd come in with a giant garbage bag and dump it all. I, of course, would have heart failure and and if I survived, would cry uncontrollably for days on end.

Lol, okay so maybe I was exaggerating there. But my point is that I don't use these crafts everyday. Sometimes it could be a few months before I even open up these drawers ... but they're there if I need them. Hubby doesn't get this. He doesn't undertand that I may need to delve into my craft drawers for an unexpected art project with the kids ... OR ... I may be spontaneously filled with desire to create at any given moment. DUH!

Now, reverting back to the writing world.... you've probably got some stuff in your writing drawers too. Ideas and characters and themes you're waiting for the perfect opportunity to use. But contrary to the craft drawers, I think we need to be careful how long we hold onto these litarary ideas. If we keep these ideas in our "drawers" too long we may never use them.

Which brings me to my final point: DON'T HOLD BACK!

Why wait for the next book? Why not go for it with the one you're working on?? Air out those literary drawers and get moving... even if it's just a short story, use it. Bring those ideas, characters, etc. to fruition and get it down in text. You can always come back to tweak later.



So start digging, my friends! Start pulling those precious little things from your drawers ... get them to the light, Carol Ann. Don't keep them tucked away for the story you plan to write next year. Write it now!

BTW If you get a chance, hop over to Everything Boho and watch the video of JK Rowling addressing Harvard graduates on failure and imagination. It's moving.

22 comments:

Mary said...

I am currently building a character drawer as I remove characters from my WIP because they are duplicates of existing characters. I promise them they will come back with their own story, now I just need to find the right setting!

salarsenッ said...

You just motivated me! I have a few ideas that have been stewing, but I've been so busy editing that I've ignored them. Time to outline...*shiver*

Su said...

Ah, the rarely-touched craft drawers. I have those, too. But my husband doesn't seem to mind.

As far as story drawers-- I've actually been doing this already! Yay! I had this same realisation a couple of months ago that it was time for my ideas to see the light of day. :)

Quinn said...

I have craft drawers as well. Haha. I don't open them very often, but I'd be pissed if someone emptied them out. Sometimes you're just in an arts and crafts type mood.

As far as a writing drawer ... maybe I need to rethink a few things. I have a character that I wanted to base a story around, but had no story. Maybe I should put her somewhere else.

LTM said...

Yep! I'm about at the point to start something new... It always hits about this time of year. :D

best of luck, P~

Catana/Sylvie Mac said...

Nice metaphor. (She says as she looks at all those long-abandoned bead containers.) The thing about well-organized drawers (writing or craft) is that you can dip in every now and then, and move a project forward just a bit. I don't feel that my unfinished stories are moldering because new ideas tend to pop up unexpectedly, and can plug into the story or into the notes section.

Colene Murphy said...

Oh yes! I love my desk. Even though it's ugly and I hate the way it looks, it's full of all my arty things, knitting things, cross stitch things, and writing things. Totally get you.

Great advice on writing. Definitely need to pull out the ideas and let them breathe.

Christina Lee said...

Such a great idea-- especially when I get STUCK--which is a Lot!

Florence said...

I try not to let anyone see inside my drawers ... pun intended.

Great post :)

I've just finished taking a 20 min unauthorized break to listen to J.K. Rawlings at Harvard. Thanks for the link, it was wonderful.

Jules said...

My craft drawers have now invaded other drawers and are marching on the kitchen table :)

Loved the advise though :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't hold back on my second manuscript - if I thought of it, it went in!
And my wife has a box of craft stuff as well. But it's in her closet, not mine, so I don't care.

Nas Dean said...

If my husband needs anything from that drawer he simply won't take it but I have to pass it to him as he won't delve in it!

Great advice about the writing drawer!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I have lots of bits and in my drawers...both literally and figuratively. For some reason I'm having a hard time getting focused on anything. Maybe I just need to pull out some art supplies and do something different for a bit???

Oddyoddyo13 said...

How does he NOT understand that just because you don't need it now, you might need it later? :)

Great advice!!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

LOL I have really, really cramped drawers! I try to keep my writing arsenal at the ready and use things as I think of them, but that requires being ready to take risks. . .something I think we're all afraid to do sometimes:) Lovely post and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Margo Benson said...

Thank you for a motivating post, it really makes one think. I read a little while ago to not be afraid of emtying the well of good ideas, just set them free and trust that the well fills up again. Happily both hubby and me have overflowing drawers of all kinds!
There is a blog award for you over at mine,
http://margobenson.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have some ideas that I scribble in my notebook, but after a while they become forgotten. It's the ones that get transferred onto my computer under specific book ideas that eventually get used. I think that's probably my weeding out system. Deep down I must know which are viable and which aren't. The ones that aren't, usually are bits of scenes.

E.J. Wesley said...

I think I use the modern equivalent of a drawer--the favorites folder on my web browser. Many of my story ideas come from articles, etc. that I've read online so I'm always sure to stash the links away to use later. One of these days when I need an idea, I'll be able to sift through and find something inspirational. I hope! :)

Stephen Tremp said...

My motto is "Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing," paraphrased from Dora from Finding Nemo who said, :Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming."

Kindros said...

Great advice, very inspirational. :) Will have to work on one of my ideas tonight.

Jennifer Jackson said...

Each time I pull something out of my WIPs, I save it. The person that didn't fit for your action novel, might for your romance saga. I have also removed whole blocks of text I have managed to use in poetry instead of stories.

It looks pretty disjointed but it makes sense to me.

Regina said...

I don't have drawers, I have tote bags full of craft things. One is all of my scrap booking stuff, one is full of research books on writing, one is full on notebooks that I use for each MS and who know what is really in the other three.

Sounds like spring cleaning to me. Have a great day.