Getting Great Ideas For Writing A Book

By Ruth Barringham

Santa Clause

For some people, the hardest part of writing a book is coming up with ideas.

I was thinking about that last week when I was outside catching Santa Clauses that were blowing around in the breeze. These are similar to dandelion floating seeds but they’re round and come from Scottish Thistle plants. Just one plant can produce thousands of white Santa Clauses and they all fly from the plant on the same day.

Last weekend, these Santa Clauses were everywhere and I was out on my balcony trying to catch one. As kids we caught them, made a wish, and released them back into the air so that the universe could find our wish and grant it. Many parents told their kids that they were from Santa’s beard and he was checking to see if they were behaving themselves, hence their name.

Anyway, I did catch one and made a wish and realised it, and when I went out later I caught another and re-enforced my wish. I guess it’s the child in me who can’t stop doing it.

That afternoon, I was sitting outside having a cup of tea and watching more Santa Clauses float by and it got me to thinking about writing, and I thought, what if these were ideas floating around and writers could catch them and whatever project they were working on the Santa Claus would provide them with a great idea for it. So if you wanted to write lots of books, you could just go outside and catch as many ideas as you want.

How cool would that be?

But, of course, an idea is no good unless you capture it in writing. So after getting hold of a Santa Claus, you’d have to write down the idea immediately before you release it back into the air.

And that’s what you need to do with any writing idea you get. Ideas are a gift and they don’t last long, so you need to write them down immediately before they float back into the ether, never to return.

There have been times when I’ve forgotten an idea within 30 minutes of thinking about it and been annoyed with myself for not writing it down.

So remember, if you get an idea for a book, no matter how small it is, write it down before it blows away again, like a Santa Claus, never to be seen again.

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