I had planned to spend the entire weekend writing a short story. Unfortunately, my story had other ideas. Turns out that the story idea I’d envisioned isn’t a short story at all. It’s a novella. And while I like the story and think it’s going to be a good one, it doesn’t fit the requirements for the contest I’d been writing for. So…I’m back to square one. I’ll be working this week on finding a more narrowly focused story. Eventually, I’ll come back to my novella idea, but for now it’ll go on the shelf to make room for something new.
In order to switch mental gears, I need to clear my thoughts. Every story for me begins with daydreaming. But in order to daydream about something new, I have to empty my head of the old. Three things are effective ways of accomplishing this. And they sort of need to be done in order. Call it a ritual if you want. I just know this is what works.
It’s like cleansing your mental palate. Sweeping away the old to make room for the new. I find that if I do these three things, then get a good night’s sleep, I am much more open and able to generate much better and more creative story ideas.