My Writing Journey: 101 Lessons I Learnt From My Mistakes (#3 Mistake)

27/01/2015 8:26 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
'I wish I could write a beautiful book to break those hearts that are soon to cease to exist: a book of faith and small neat worlds and of people who live by the philosophies of popular songs' - Zelda Fitzgerald I'm kind of fascinated by the Fitzgeralds at the moment...beautiful, brilliant but flawed people... Taken using a Canon 60D/PK Fit Vivitar 28mm 1:2.8 lens + Vivitar MC 2x Teleconverter

Never underestimate an idea

Years ago when I decided to be a writer, a big question that rattled through my mind was what would I write about? They say ideas are a dime a dozen, and yet there wasn't one that clicked. My mistake. I underestimated the power of my ideas, and in doing so rejected many that may have proved fruitful.

There's nothing worse than losing a creative impulse. Maybe it was that impulse that drove Stephenie Meyer to write about a dream in which she saw a young girl falling in love with a vampire. What if she knew then that her four novels would be adapted into one of the biggest movie franchises in the world? Novelist George R R. Martin dreamt of a young boy witnessing the beheading of a man and finding direwolf pups in the snow. That one dream led him to write his bestselling fantasy series Game of Thrones. It was this same impulse that drove Yann Martel to write the story of a boy stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The story, he says, came to him in twenty minutes. All of it. What if he knew then that Life of Pi would go on to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and its movie adaptation several Oscars?

Writers aren't born with extra creativity; they just use their creative impulses well. Some authors like Danielle Steel get so good at it, they are able to churn out multiple novels in one year. Problem is, you don't know when that million dollar idea will come to you. People get their ideas doing all sorts of day-to-day things. I get mine while walking. It was in London, walking to my bus stop for work, that I came upon the title of my first novel, The Recession Groom. The story, the dialogue, and many of the plot twists also came to me during those daily walks. Nowadays, I always carry a smart phone handy to jot down my ideas, lest I forget half of them by the time I get in front of my laptop. My lesson: I can't do much about the ideas I lost before I began to believe in myself--but I'm not going to lose my next sparks of inspiration.

Quick Tips:

1. Next time you have a creative impulse, act on it.

2. Ideas need to be developed and nurtured. Work on them. Polish them.

3. Ideas come to you while you go about your day-to-day work. Keep a note of them.

I hope my blog post gets your creative juices flowing. Who knows - you might have the next million-dollar idea right after reading this. Do leave me a message if that's the case! Or, write to me at

More On This Topic