One Great Story Always Leads to Another

Pretty much every project (large or small) starts with a moment or three of doubt: is this really something worth pursuing? With hindsight, it’s easy to see that following my inspiration always leads to a creation of value—especially when I don’t worry about the final outcome. 

Sequels are the obvious example.

Oliver’s Surprise inspired Cape Cod Surprise—and might have sparked even more stories about my favorite tween if not for the distractions of a real job.

My latest novel begins two years after Ferry to Cooperation Island. Neither book would exist if I hadn’t followed a random thought well beyond its natural conclusion: what would a curmudgeonly ferry captain do after losing his job?

A less obvious hindsight reveal:

The research for my first non-fiction book definitely led me to the second—though at the time it wasn’t clear why I was so interested in a rather ancient photo of Aage Nielsen. A few months later, Seahorse asked for a short piece about a Nielsen design. That led to a very fun sail on Hound, which sparked my next non-fiction book idea! As one of my editor-friends likes to say, “There’s always another story.” 

Which brings me to a resolution:

Next time I begin a project (large or small), I’m going to ignore any doubts about the power of following my imagination—and instead be grateful for that luxury. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will continue to cobble together seemingly unrelated experiences into a crazy unmarked path that leads to what’s next. 

Thanks for joining me. Got a thought about creativity? Share it in the comments below, or send me an email. Who knows, you just might spark another blog post—or even my next novel idea. 

PS Apparently this is a common winter topic…

8 Replies to “One Great Story Always Leads to Another”

  1. Everyone has great ideas, but few have the guts to follow them through to the end. Excellent advice from my younger brother David, when we where discussing my kayak idea. Thanks David

  2. Carol, I’m starting to think the bottom line is that “value” – or one might substitute “a worthwhile future” – only springs from creative acts.

  3. Excellent post! A writer’s imagination is their single best tool to fully put together a book from an idea. Everything you need is there if you are patient. Doubt abounds but so does endless creativity. I like how your writing advice is so positive, so yes. So can do. Rig up the boat. Head out to the starting line. Get in the race. It could be a great day!

    1. Thanks Larry. Glad you appreciate the positive. And definitely agree: “Everything you need is there if you are patient.”

  4. Perfectly said! When those little seeds of ideas, present themselves, it’s always wise to follow where they lead, and often times flowers bloom!

    1. Thanks Roberta, and PS I can’t wait to check out your latest “flowers!” 🙂

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