Getting published, either self-published or traditional, is difficult. It requires hours upon hours of hard work, and it is a long path few people successfully achieve.
In August last year, I wrote a popular blog post titled: The Perpetual Bell Curve of Becoming a Published Writer. I wrote it on a whim, when I looked at the rocky road to becoming published, and realized it looked like a bell curve--or a series of them, almost like a wave.
I decided to take the bell curve scenario now and chop it up, examining each piece in individual posts. I came up with at least 6 "hurdles."
The first hurdle is coming up with an idea.
Everyone gets ideas. There isn't a person I know who hasn't said at one time or another, "Man, I've got this great idea for a book!"
But here's the problem: they did nothing with the idea. The first hurdle is taking the idea and forming it into a story.
What if vampires invaded a small New England town and took it over? Enter Stephen King's Salem's Lot. What if a young lawyer, fresh out of law school, was hired by a law firm who happened to do business with the mob? Enter John Grisham's The Firm. What if a young orphan boy discovered his parents were wizards--and he is too! Enter J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
These ideas are simple. And there's nothing stopping you from creating your own. Here's an exercise: take a blank sheet of paper and sit somewhere (preferably not at your computer) and write down 20 story ideas. Do this for a week--not including weekends. You'll end up with 100 story ideas. I listened to a podcast recently where the author forced himself to come up with a new story idea every single day. Including weekends.
You also need to make it easy to write down your ideas. Put them in your Smartphone, write them on a piece of paper, text it to yourself, e-mail it to yourself. I have a TASK feature on my phone, and that's where I story a lot of my ideas.
What tricks have you used to keep track of your ideas? Please feel free to leave a comment. Also, if you have any brainstorming tips, I'd love to read about it.