Where do the ideas come from…?

I’m in a think tank meeting, and I was just realizing that I am one of those people. Those idea people who think, why not? Why can’t we do this? instead of that? And what’s more… Where do all of the great ideas come from?

I think that most great ideas must stem from people being ticked off in one way or another. Wondering why something doesn’t work as well as it should. Or why there isn’t a better way to do something. Quicker. Faster. Cheaper. Better. Or maybe that’s just me.

I’ve been thinking about agendas and organizing and planning, and really – I make fits and starts at it – but the question of the week is – what is your 5 year plan for writing?

That one has kept me up at night. So here’s the deal with my writing background. I have always written. I used to dictate to my mother and she would read me back my elaborate tales. I fabricated great stories about riding on fire engines, or seeing a gorilla jump up and down on a policeman. (Some call this fibbing or – lieing. I call it a stellar imagination.)

so, I’ve always written. Since I was a child and could put pencil to paper. When I hyphenated words after consanants. When I misspelled everything. Okay, so I still need to edit myself – but who’s asking. The point is, writers write. Because they have to. Because it is in their blood. Because they need to have that fix. Create that universe. Live in an alternate reality. It’s who we are.

So, my 5 year plan for my writing is – to be the best writer I can be. To never give up. To write as many stories as I can. Enter contests. Publish multiple titles in e-book and print. To hone my craft. And, to learn how to juggle the important things, and let the little things drop where they may.

I have a few quotes from the prolific Nora Roberts that really made me understand my craft. And what I need to do to get to the next five years.

(I’m paraphrasing – but this is what I remember from her interview…)

“Write. Write the best story you can. Write what you would want to read. Enjoy
your characters. If you don’t enjoy them, no one else will, either. Don’t play
favorites. And remember, there are 88 keys on the piano – and think of all of
the beautiful and different songs and types of music.”

(This is me again) Every story and character is a unique universe. And with regards to my process, I guess you could say that I write with my heart. I write what I have loved to read, or love to read now. Sometimes it’s historical. Sometimes it’s a mystery. Sometimes a thriller. But there is always a love story at the heart, because I’m a hopeless romantic. As my daughter Rachel reminded me the other day…

“Every story should start with Once upon a time and should end with …And they lived happily ever after…

We only have a limited amount of time on this earth – and personally if I read a book, I want to be entertained. To escape for awhile. To fall in love with a place. The sights. The smells. To miss them when I close the cover. And that, my friends, is how I want to write everything I pour my heart into.

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About Ashley Ludwig

Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

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