Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Insecure Writer and a Lack of Ideas

Today is May's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me insecure as a writer this month? Two things, actually. First, I noticed a good percentage of my posts this year have been for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group, which tells me I’ve been lax about posting in a timely manner. Some of this had to do with my reluctance to spend what little time I have on my blog until I finished the structural rewrite of my first two chapters. I’m pleased to say the rewrites are essentially done, so my postings should become more frequent. No promises, though. Now that my WIP is moving forward again, I’m even more driven to spend time on it.

The main reason I’m insecure this month is because I’m worried about whether I’ll be able to come up with enough ideas for my next book. Now this might seem odd considering that I’m still probably at least a year away from finishing my current WIP, but this concern always sits there in the back of my mind.

You see, I’ve had (and continue to have) no problem coming up with ideas for my current WIP. In fact, I’ve had to strip many of them out simply because the book was becoming too long. One of the reasons I started to write a story about the further adventures at Hogwarts was because I found it so easy to dream up the wild and crazy stuff that happens there. But when this story is done, I’ll want to write something I can legally sell, so I’ll have to move on to my own worlds. And I have no idea whether the ideas will flow as easily once I walk away from Rowling’s world.

I already have the basic plots for two different story lines in my head, but it’s the filler scenes – the ones that flesh out a story - that have me worried. I’m afraid that, without the wonderful world Rowling created, I won’t be able to come up with enough new ideas to keep the story interesting.

Do any of you unpublished (or published) authors have the same fear? The fear that after pouring your heart and soul into your first book you won’t have anything left for another? If so, let me hear about them.


  1. Every time you have to cut something out, write it on an index card, or in a notebook - gather togather ideas as they come, collect them together in a box. I bet that when you finish your current WIP you'll be surprised how many stray ideas you've caught.

  2. Definitely. Everytime I cut out a portion of the story I immediately paste it into another file with all my other future ideas. I can't bear to throw anything out. You should see my desk! Thanks for commenting.

  3. What an interesting question!

    For my 1st story, I absolutely had this problem. So I kept throwing my characters into trouble/danger so I'd have to write my way out of it. Before I knew it, my novel was 96K!

    For my 2nd story, I had such a large concept that I had to force myself to pare it down and be strategic about what will realistically fit in one book. I'm eager to start outlining the second, but for now, I'm going to keep those ideas to just a few paragraphs. I need to make sure the 1st one can stand on its own.

  4. It's hard to even think towards a first book, I'm just thinking towards a first complete story! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Good luck to you and I bet you have more ideas for another book.