The other day, I had an awesome idea.
A great, awesome idea about a book that I am planning. I intend to start writing it in five to seven years. After I’ve finished—and published—my current series and written the series I am actively planning and will be writing next. (Yes, I think about those books on a regular basis. Because I am a career woman and also a fanatic.)
And guys. The idea was so good. So, so good. It gave me chills. I also got a lump in my throat, which is a weird by-product of a really good idea for me.
When that happens, I always know my idea is a good one. An especially fantastic, must save kind of idea.
That’s how I know I’ve touched magic.
Magic doesn’t come naturally. Like any craft, you have to cultivate it.
I’m going to be honest with you here. I don’t believe in muses. I love the idea of muses. I think they’re so fun. I’m pretty sure that my muse is a hedgehog named Mortimer.
But when it comes down to it, I don’t believe in muses. And I think inspiration is a lovely feeling that will never get a writer anywhere long term.
The best way to cultivate magic is by showing up, constantly, day after day, and being faithful to your story no matter what. If you aren’t on the lookout for your ideas, you won’t find them.
I’m going to be straight up honest with you. That brilliant awesome idea I was talking about? I had it while I was driving home. I wasn’t sitting at my computer, I wasn’t journaling or brainstorming. I was driving home after work and thinking about my story.
Actually, I’m always thinking about my stories. All the time. When I work out, when I’m driving, when I’m cleaning my house or at work or anywhere else, my stories are in the back of my mind. Simmering away. Turning over. Searching out new ideas and new angles and new ways of looking at things.
I search them out and give my mind the time it needs to thoroughly explore a world and a character.
That means that when I’m not driving or at work and I have the time I need to write, I know what happens next. I’ve touched the magic already, and I can translate it to the page.
Four Tips To Apply It In Your Own Life
1. Write bad stuff. I wish I could scream this to the heavens or din it into your brain. Write terrible, terrible drafts that totally embarrass you. Write choppy poems. Write awful dialogue. Write and write and write, and never delete any of it. Pretty soon, it won’t be terrible.
2. Be consistent. Find your rhythm and work with it. You don’t have to write the way I do, but find the way that you write best and keep to it. The more you write, the more you’ll want to write and the better your writing will be.
3. Dream. Spend time dreaming. Set aside time to dream. Your dreaming is where the magic is born. Train your mind to wander through your stories, to probe at possibilities, and to find what causes that hitch in your breath. It might seem strange to schedule time for daydreaming, but, writer, that’s what we do! Without that time, your stories will stall and sputter out. So take the time. Be intentional about your dreams.
4. Love what you do. Remind yourself that you love it. Remind yourself that you’re choosing your stories, and that you love to spend time in them. Magic comes from passion, from loving what you do and appreciating it. If your stories become a drudge and a task you resent, the magic will fade. And nothing makes a task more of a drudge than complaining about it. So love what you do, and remind yourself that you enjoy it.
Good luck, dearest writer! May your tea be hot and your dreams wild.
Was this post helpful to you? Tell me about it in the comments, and drop in any tips of your own! I would love to hear about it.