If you are like me you find inspiration in the moment. I love it when that happens, but more and more I see how inconvenient that can be.
What’s that you say? How can inspiration ever be inconvenient? Timing, my friends. It’s all about timing… or a great sense of business planning, neither of which are my long suits.
Let me give you a couple of examples. Just this morning I had a wonderful idea for a Christmas story… but, oops. It’s Christmas time now.
Several years ago I have a very cool idea for a YA Novel called “Next Halloween”. When did this idea come up? Yeah, you guessed it. Halloween.
I’d say that for most of us, inspiration comes with the season. You’re thinking about Valentine’s day, or to spread it around a bit, Boxing Day, Bastille Day, and… well, I’m not as up on holidays in other countries as I should be… but you get the picture, and the idea hits.
You sigh, sit down heavily and think something like… “I wish I’d written that sooner.”
It seems to be too late when the holidays roll around to write about them. But is it?
Yeah, yeah, I know. You’re probably all ready to step forward and say this is already how YOU do it, but if not, try this idea on for size:
Rather than get caught up in the “I’m inspired now, but it’s too late to query cycle, actually start the writing when you get the idea. Marketers, not as constrained as authors, begin planning their seasonal campaigns a scant month ahead of the season (or perhaps a little more), but you, as a writer, cannot afford that luxury. Your work needs to be fully conceived, written, edited and submitted long before the target season. There needs to be time for the agents and publishers to be wowed by your work, and to get it published in time.
So, while writing top-notch material is certainly a key to your stories and articles being published for a particular season, timing is everything. In the long run this can work out for you, if, as above, you are inspired during the season, and are willing to get the work done then and there, and understand that it can be just in time for next year.
Oh, and in case I forget next year? Happy Day of the Dead!