Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sometimes I Have Bad Ideas

Shower
[shou-er]
noun

1. Also called shower bath. a bath in which water is sprayed on the body, usually from an overhead perforated nozzle (showerhead)

2. A brief fall of rain or, sometimes, of hail or snow

3. The place where ideas are born and decisions are made (see also: "the moments before you fall asleep")

A shower, a place like no other. No matter where it is (your home, someone else's home, hotel, the rain forest, the lake, a gross campsite shower etc. etc.) or what kind of shower it is (stall, tub, fancy, old, peeling tub surround, the ones with benches for old people etc. etc.) I always seem to come out with some new understanding. It's magical! Well probably because it's some of the only down time I give my brains to really think things through, but I still like to think it's magical.


My problem is that I forget ideas. I get a really good idea for a blog post or plot twist, but by the time I'm all dressed and ready to go after my shower, I've forgotten it. So I came up with a way of remembering (coincidentally, in the shower). I was going to bring some white board markers into the shower and write my ideas down on the tub surround. Brilliant, right?

Wrong. 

At first, I thought I had struck gold. I showered, wrote all my ideas down and then took a picture with my phone. I was good to go. Until a few minutes after, I heard my mother call out:

"Who wrote on the wall?! Did a two-year-old suddenly move into our house?"  Okay, she didn't say that last sassy bit, but whatever. ARTISTIC LICENSE!

The picture I took on phone of my ideas.
I had forgotten to erase the writing. Embarrassed, I ran back into the bathroom. No big deal, though, I thought. I could still erase it. I was wrong. The "erasable marker" would not erase.

I tried everything, toothpaste, Mr. Clean, Vim, Windex, Soap, Elbow Grease. I was desperate. It started to come off, slowly. I scrubbed for a good half hour, all the while frantically reassuring my mother that I had it all under control (I did not), then gave up. To this day, there's some very faint writing still on the tub surround. Luckily, I think I'm the only one who really notices it.

The worst part about this whole situation was that the writing on the wall (ha. ha.) wasn't even anything profound. It was ideas for my bookstore bingo post from a few months back.



The moral of this story is that sometimes I have bad ideas. Ideas that crash and burn, and stain my tub surround. And you know what? That's okay.

Writers are often conditioned to never give up on an idea. "Just keep working on your plot", "Revise it till it's better" "You just need to work through the hard parts" "Every author has a bad day" they say. All of that is true and I agree wholeheartedly, but sometimes you just know when it is a bad idea. Don't see ditching a manuscript or plot line as defeat, see it as the courageous first-step in moving on to something bigger and better. What's the point in working on something that you can't stand behind, good days and bad? The hardest thing to learn is when to quit and when to persevere, but once you figure it out, it's amazing. 

What do you think? Have you ditched story ideas or any ideas before? Do you feel guilty for "quitting"? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. There's a few housekeeping things I want to mention. First, thank you to Sofia Maria for nominating me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Check her out here. And second, due to school (ugh) A Splash of Ink will be going back to 1 post a week instead of two. If I manage to do two, it will be like a little bonus post! Thanks for understanding. 

Reading: 1177: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric Cline
Listening: All Sons and Daughters
Watching: Once Upon a Time

16 comments:

  1. I usually like all my ideas. I mean, they're not always good! Gosh no! Sometimes they're horrible. But I just have this little love of them, for no particular reason.
    Your bathtub story made me giggle. XD I have the same problem of thinking up stuff and then forgetting it once I get out of the shower. OH. And bed. I think up the best things the moment I lie down to sleep, and then that moment where I'm like "I'm going to get up and get a pen" I just fall asleep and bye-bye awesome idea.
    I have sticky-notes all over my walls now. ;)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm glad my story entertained you. There's nothing I can do now, but laugh at my fail.

      Ack the dreaded pre-sleep thought! The sticky-notes are a great idea, but I would probably push them all off in my sleep, haha.

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  2. May I suggest bathtube crayons? You can write on your shower walls... AND THEY ARE CRAYONS.
    There's also a shower curtain that comes with a marker, especially designed for you to be able to take notes while you are in the shower. It's worth investing in both of those!
    I usually get my best ideas when swimming. I once worked out a WHOLE novel like that. By the time I got out of the pool, showered and dressed... it was gone. All gone. It still hurts just thinking about it.

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    1. Hmm...bathtub crayons...NO SUNNY NO MORE WRITING ON THE WALLS!! I can't take the risk again, but thanks for the recommendations:) I might cave and get them sometime.

      Swimming...interesting! That's a great way to get fit and puzzle through ideas (if you can remember them of course). That sucks that you lost your idea. Maybe it will come back to you someday.

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  3. I get my best ideas at night. When everything is quiet and I'm all alone with my cat. Sometimes when I'm reading if it a good book. I love how you write your ideas down not like me. I sometimes I will remember sometimes not. This post made me giggle and now following you on Goodreads:)
    x June x

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    1. The cat is an interesting element to your idea process:P

      Thanks for the Goodreads follow! Glad to make you laugh, haha.

      Delete
  4. LOL I'm laughing at the image of you being like "ITS OK MOM EVERYTHINGS FINE!" *scrub scrub scrub* "YEP ITS ALL GOOD JUST GIMME A MINUTE" *SCRUBSCRUBSCRUBSCRUB* I'm ALSO laughing at the Enchanted gif. THAT MOVIE OH MY GOSH. XD ahahahaha!!

    In other news, I ditch like ALL my story ideas, you know that. XD lol

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was thinking of you when I found that GIF lol!

      Although I said it's okay to ditch ideas, in your case I would recommend a little more balance in the direction of perseverance, bahahahaha.

      Delete
  5. Oh, Sunny. We've all done such things. I broke my brother's tablet screen the other day. Not my finest hour.

    As a very un-prolific (really not a word, but we can go with it) writer I don't have enough experience to give my take on this subject; so far I've only completed one novella, and about half of one novel (my WIP). I don't really know what I'd do if I got to the point of having a go-nowhere idea. Probably start plotting like crazy for a new novel, and plunge myself into that one rather than dwelling on what I've left behind.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Broken tablet screen? Ouch.

      As for the writing, it won't take you long before you get a go-nowhere idea, haha. But it sounds like you have a pretty good plan for when it does come:)

      Delete
  6. Ahh, magnificent post :D Magnificent blog, really. <3

    I can't say that I have trouble with forgetting ideas, but this is mostly due to the fact that I very rarely have good ideas, haha. I wish you the best of luck in the future, should you come up with a new way of recording your strokes of genius (those bathtub crayons someone mentioned above sound pretty cool).

    As for ditching writing ideas, I've done so many times (but, er, again, this is mostly due to the fact that not many of my ideas are good.) I have a special document just for my discard ideas, where there are loose paragraphs and quickwrites and random scenes or characters. You never know when they might be useful someday...

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    1. Awww, thanks Connie:)

      That's a really great idea to keep a document of discarded ideas. I never thought to do that. Sometimes I save new ideas that I haven't worked on yet, but I never thought to keep ideas that didn't quite work out. I like the idea of having a personal little stash of ideas to pull from, haha.

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  7. Hahahahah I'm sorry at laughing at your mistake! Nah it's totally okay! I'm not really a writer, so when I do get ideas, they just stay in my head because I can't express them on paper. Hmmm, you know, I bet you could stick up a "real" whiteboard, like one of those small ones, on the wall? By using those suction cup thingys. I think that might work!!

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    1. Oooo! That's a good idea with the white board! There's been so many good suggestions for my shower idea problem:)

      And feel free to laugh, it's all we can do now, haha.

      Delete
  8. I think this is one of my favorite posts... XD

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