This entry is little delayed, for sure, but the sharing is happening. Sadly, full time work and mumming gets in the way of writing from time to time. And it has been one of those times.
But I'm here now. Maybe I'll be here only for a day or two; or perhaps I'm back for a few months. Whichever way, I am bloggin' again for your information and entertainment.
I have offered to answer those questions: 'How do you find the time?' and the one I'm tackling today, 'how do you know what to write?' The honest truth is that I don't always know what I want to write beforehand but I get inspired and then run with it.
There are ways to teach this too. Rather than being an answer - what the idea is - it's about what an idea is. It's about teaching the stages of writing and focussing on that important first stage.
Everybody wants to write that amazing blockbuster which becomes a classic. We want to replicate the book which made us want to write, but we also want it to be original. We want to create something so special that the idea stays well out of reach like a rainbow.
But actually ideas are a lot like making babies: it all starts really small and very simple. It's the building of something small and ordinary into something special which brings the idea to life.
Equally, if you like epic tales of love and war, you might do some research into local folklore or unusual tales in history and then build a narrative around those places or facts, taking something old into a new place. You would then use the conventions of epic tales - such as a happy ending and a quest narrative to form the structure - but the content would include all the information you've gathered for your work.
To help me with this I use a diary and lots and lots (and lots and lots) of mindmaps. Every time (well... almost every time) something sparks an idea I write it down. Later, when I have a few minutes, I mindmap the idea into lots of details and smaller ideas which could make up some of the content or the direction I want to take the idea.
I then research. This is easy these days: Facebook, Twitter and Google help me hugely with this. Social media is awesome because the people who are interested in helping at the beginning are often interested in evaluating your work as you progress.
So ideas are easy; it's what you do with them that counts. And once you have them flowing your mind will be like a tap turned continually on.