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Mama, Watch This. Mama. Mama, Look. (When a New Book Idea Hits You)


Hang on. Let me write this last sentence.

"Mama, look."

Okay, almost done...

"Mama, watch this!"

Wait. Just let me finish this book first.

As a mom of two, I'm well-acquainted with my name----to the point that I often consider changing it. I once joked with my son that I would only respond to being called Mrs. Featherbottom if he said "Mama" one more time. All in good fun, of course. He liked that.

But it's not only children that want us to listen. Sometimes it's our muse. I wanted to blog about a common occurrence I hear authors talk about: getting a book idea before your current manuscript is finished.

Picture it: You're hard at work on your current WIP when you feel a tap on your shoulder.

"Hey, look at this." It's another story idea. Maybe it's a character, or an entire scene, but do you know what it's not? That's right, the story right in front of you.

I can't right now. I'm busy.

"Hey, watch this!"

All of a sudden, before you can control it, a vision comes into your mind. Your new idea is fresh, exciting, and you feel like you have the drive to crank out an outline or more (I'm 50% planner/50% pantser myself). So, what do you do?

I really didn't have this problem until recently. My focus is usually on my YA fantasy series, The Haighdlen Chronicles. Book 1 is available now, and I am writing book 2 with four more planned. Between finishing the audiobook for the first one, writing the second, and outlining the others, how could I have time for another book? I've heard authors say they have so many ideas. I even had fears that I'd never get another book idea.

Then it came. That voice. That a-ha moment of "Mama, look! Look over here. Mama, are you watching?" Only it wasn't my children.

It was a book idea. To be honest, it was a series idea. Sounds like a blessing, right? It is. I am fully ready to dive-in to that other world. I think the problem comes with time management. I keep asking myself, "When am I possibly going to have time to write all of this?" I started to feel discouraged, but then I stopped and reevaluated the situation.

Rather than focus on the obstacles that would prevent me from reaching my goal, I reframed my mind. What a problem to have! More story ideas! Something that I feared wouldn't come at all. Sure, it wasn't the exact time I would've picked, but there is was!

I still consider myself a baby author. With only one book published, I have a long way to go to reach the success level I read about in my author groups. I love reading their experiences though. What a great goal to shoot for! And with story ideas coming at all hours of the day, thank goodness for Post-it notes and journals, right?

Hopefully, you can relate on some level. I'm only starting out, so many readers and authors out there are way ahead of me. But it's a starting point, and I am along for the ride.

So, when you feel that tug at your sleeve from your next story line, what will you do with it?


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