The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. — Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie was right, at least in my case. Over the years, I have spent many dish washing sessions trying to think of a perfect plot with awesome characters.
The problem was my confidence in my ideas kept faltering, therefore I never made it to actually developing a plan. I got to a stage where I was so annoyed at myself for having spent countless years in the cycle of thinking and scrapping, I decided that the next idea I have, whether it initially seems good or bad, I will write it down and look back at it a few days later. Just doing this really basic thing made a big difference.
You might be thinking, what kind of writer doesn’t write down their ideas anyway? And you’d be correct. Once I started putting pen to paper (old fashioned, I know, but that’s how I roll), I actually started to feel like I was making progress as a writer.
Even though I have noted down loads of ideas that I haven’t explored further, I feel more confident when I look back at them because I realise they aren’t as bad as I had myself believe in that moment of self doubt. Having a log of ideas to go back to is the most simple step a writer can take to embark on their mission of finding a story they want to tell.
I finally have an idea I want to pursue, and if I hadn’t jotted it down, planning it further would have been more daunting (if not impossible) for me. At least I am no longer recycling through the same ideas in my mind with no real development.
Lesson learned: I still use my daily dish washing sessions to plan my book, but now I WRITE IT DOWN. Whatever the idea.