Some ideas come through time and work. Other times they just come you quickly while you’re experiencing life. There are some who will wait for ideas to come to them, and others who try to work to reach new ideas. Though I believe that you should strive to grow and work towards ideas. I also strongly believe you have to be open to inspiration when and where ever it may come. If you’re closed off from receiving inspiration, then you might work so hard and never even notice something that is right in front of you. Some times it’s some thing so simple, but because we’re distracted by our ever day lives that we don’t fully make that realization.
Recently I got an idea for a story. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a short story, or a novel. Though the idea has really stayed with me. Usually that’s a sign that I’m meant to write it. Certain ideas come to me after I experience something creative, like a conference or music event. Other times I’m thinking about certain ideas I want to write, and I think about it a little while before I realize what exactly I want to write. My experience with prompts has shown me how certain ideas emerge from the springboard, especially the 12 Days of Prompts that Gloria shared. As I’ve grown in my own Catholic faith journey, it’s made me realize that I’ve been given many gifts, but mostly a voice. A voice that loves to sing, but also a voice that loves to write.
My faith has always been a part of me since I was young, but I’ve grown a lot in recent years because of my local church. So it makes sense that my faith flows through me. I’ve noticed more and more that I want to add more about my faith into my stories. It’s not that I want to force anyone to believe what I believe, but it’s because I truly want share and help others understand my Catholic faith.
The novel I officially started during NaNoWriMo last year. I say officially because I had the idea in mind before November. I even had started to write 11 pages, that was never added to my word count during November. Part of the idea was inspired by authors I met during Ascendio 2012 (a Harry Potter conference that had a literary track). They made me realize that I could write a novel. Just hearing their writing and publishing experiences and talking about literature, brought this excitement. I knew ahead of time before the conference that a few authors were going to be part of the literary track so I read their books ahead of time. Their books also brought inspiration to me. So some time in August, I had a basic idea and some notes of what my story was about. Though it wasn’t until November when I fully started to create the “skeleton” of my novel. The revising and editing process fleshes it out and refines it. While I was writing, I was being pulled to have my characters deal with things that were faith related. I wrote it.
The 12 prompts of Christmas that I did, I also started to add more about my faith. Though it was just an outline. It still gave a chance to develope a story idea, and I shared it as a gift to all my friends on Facebook, which I had never done something like that before. This was when I started to realize even more that I wanted my characters in my stories to experience a growth in faith as well.
Now back to what I mentioned earlier, in the second paragraph, I had an idea recently. It came to me while I was singing in the choir at church. This story idea has a mixture of faith, fantasy, and a growth journey. I’ve been thinking about it, and slowly the idea is growing in my mind. Maybe this one needs a bit of process before I write it, but I should write it soon. Anyways, I’ve had moments recently that I felt like talking about my idea to friends and one of my ACTS sisters. When when I did, it made me realize an other little piece that adds to my idea.
As you might know, or realize, I’ve been helping out with my local church. Tonight as I was part of RCIA, a class for those who will become Catholics and/or growing in their faith. I’m a sponsor for someone who is planning on becoming Catholic. It’s a wonderful experience and I’m so glad I’m a part of her faith journey. We usually have a time to ask questions during the class, and someone had asked a question. It made me think about my recent story idea. Also during the class time, we’re given questions that we discuss in groups. We were talking about gifts that God has given to us, and I shared how I’ve grown to realize one of my gifts is writing. It might not be perfect writing, but God has given me the love and the voice to write that makes the difference. Then when I came home, my mom was watching her favorite show Touched By Angel. The episode she was watching it also reminded me of the same story idea I’ve had.
After I finished watching the episode, I was reminded what I had mentioned to my ACTS sister, Mary, about my story idea. Which was when I first thought of the story idea at church while singing in the choir, it felt like divine inspiration. Even tonight things happened to connect to my story idea. Like my friend Matt mentioned earlier, there are no coincidences and that certain things happen for a reason. Though he was responding to what my friend Beth was saying about how we happened to meet at the right place, and the right time. I’ve have always believed, since I was young, that certain things happen for a reason and we were meant to have certain people in our lives, just like we’re meant to be in the lives of others. There have been people in my life and experiences that that have changed me to who I am today. I will always be grateful. I believe it’s the same way about ideas, no matter if it’s sudden or a work in progress. Those ideas came for a reason. They might not be the next New York Times Bestseller, but it will be a stepping stone. We need stepping stones to help us get to where we need to be.