I didn't write again for about four months. I worked on revisions, focused on my blog and networked like crazy. I met great friends, critiqued, and read for pleasure.
By May an idea for a new story hit me. One sentence, a hook, and I was back in the game. I have to admit, that although this novel was my favorite, it was the hardest to write. The words didn't flow quite as easily and I struggled with the plot. I stewed... and wrote... and deleted... and stewed. But by July I'd finished, sent the manuscript off for critting revised, edited and revised some more and then I queried with renewed enthusiasm.
Then I hit a wall. Terror! Panic! Hyperventilation! My idea fount had run dry. I worried hard core about this. I wondered if I was a one-trick pony. Maybe I'd used all of my creative juices and had nothing left. Perhaps my brain was officially fried. My lack of inspiration convinced me that I couldn't hack it. I mean, nobody wants a writer who cranks out one book and says, "Well, that's it. I'm done. That's all I had."
However, inspiration can be found when you least expect it. I find that I work very well with others. It's like my brain fires on all cylinders when there's someone else around. And while I whined about my lack of inspiration, my crit partner and friend TALKED me through it. She regurgitated ideas that I'd run past her, and she helped me brainstorm by asking questions. It's funny, being led along works for me. Ask me a question, and my brain kicks in to high gear. I can't ask myself, for some reason that doesn't work. Maybe it's the challenge of answering someone's question that gets me going. All I know is that it works.
So here I am, shiny new words and a plot that's building by the day. Not a one trick pony, after all!
How do you come up with story ideas? Do they pop into your head while doing dishes? Are they based on real life? Do you brainstorm? Whine to friends? Let me know!