The process begins.

You’ve invented this incredible story idea and you decide that you must write it.

Maybe it’s about a past experience that you need to share, or a really good idea that is an accumulation of many people’s life experiences. It could be a complete piece of fiction which originated from a childhood fear or the culmination of multiple fears. Your story could be a plot derived from a book you read or a movie you saw and thought, “I could have done that so much better, I would do it this way…”

Regardless of however the story comes into being, you know it’s a good story and the passion to create it begins to build.

In your mind these people come to life. The landscape begins to form, the plot thickens and evolves into something rich and engaging. You can see the entire sketch of this new reality from beginning to end. You know these characters and the occurrences inside and out. The characters become real, you know everything about them; how they look, how they react, how they think.

The story, inside your head, has already happened.  Now you just need to walk the reader through the events one page at a time and acquaint the observer with the tale, carrying them clear through to the blissful ending.

The process continues and you begin to write.

Maybe it happens slowly at first, until you begin to fall in love with one or more of the main characters, then the story unfolds like water pouring from a bucket and at times it happens so fast that it’s hard to keep up with pounding it out on the keyboard fast enough before you lose your train of thought.  Or maybe it’s a fight to find the next step in the plot, or even the next line in the paragraph but it becomes a labor of love which forces the need to finish telling this tale. Either way you are now committed to immortalizing this story.

The creative process is a strange a mysterious place, but oh so wonderful when you become struck by its power.

Then just as you get into the swing or even halfway through the process of crafting out this masterpiece, you discover that something similar already exists. A movie that is being released next month, a new book being promoted by a popular writer or a friend tells you about story written many decades ago and your heart sinks in your chest because it’s ‘your’ original idea.

Someone at some point imagined the same story and beat you to the punch line by telling it first to the vast public ear. This is where a lot of would be very good writers will succumb to the self-doubting process that all creative minded people share. They allow themselves to stumble and fall and let their story die without so much as a brief glimmer of existence because someone else also thought it was such a good idea they were compelled to tell a similar story.

You cannot give up. Know that this is just a hurdle in being a writer.

This is the point where you must forge forward despite the fact that someone else is doing it or has done it. Even if your story line has ‘similar’ features, even though there are a couple of coincidental occurrences, you must remind your inner doubt that your story is still just as unique and individual as you are.

The story of “Romeo and Juliet” has been told thousands, if not tens of thousands, of times throughout literary history. “Beauty and the Beast” has been resurrected in a magnitude of different genres with many different equations mixed into it. The eternal battle between good and evil, the dark and the light, will be retold countless times before and even long after you’re no longer alive to tell your version of the war.

What you need to remember is that you are writing your story. Inside your mind these people, this place, these trials happen from your point of view and no one on the planet can tell it from that vantage better than you can.

As your story continues to progress changes will occur, growth in an unforeseen direction will present itself and your story will come to life in a completely different light.  Even during the editing process the storyline changes and plots twist in new ways that you can’t possibly conceive of at the moment of conception or during the rapture of creation.

The source for your inspiration lives only inside you.

Whatever you decide, don’t stop writing. Finish it, read it through and only then should you decide if you want to or need to change anything.

Never stop moving forward in your journey simply because someone else has walked the path before you.

Good luck and keep writing.


Come ‘Like’ my Facebook Fan Page and join the fun!

S.J.Johnson.Author @ Facebook

2012 Facebook Micro-Story Writing Game First Place Entry

2012 Facebook Micro-Story Writing Game First Place Entry.

ReP: Obvious to you… Amazing to others…

I thought I would share this bit of insight with you this morning.

I feel that most of us ‘creative’ minded people have a ‘doubting demon’ housed in the backs of our consciousnesses, slowly feeding and chipping away on our confidence. This constantly reminds us that we ‘don’t have what it takes’.

Sometimes, throughout the process of creating a piece of art, (no matter what the medium you choose to utilize), without warning and quite uninvited the thoughts occur from deep inside, “I can’t do this. Maybe I’ll try again later. It’s not as good as the other guy. I should just give up.

This constant diet of negative thought makes it very difficult to ‘believe’ in our own work, and to prove to ourselves that it IS good enough to keep pursuing.

Well okay, maybe you don’t have one of these critters dwelling in the dark recesses of your confidence, but I definitely do. Unfortunately I listen to this advice more than I should.

I have discovered that the trick to finishing a project doesn’t have anything to do with the encouragement we receive from family, friends or our peers. It does however have everything to do with the never ending fight within ourselves, against our own self esteem, self perception and how we value ourselves in comparison to what we think of others.

Having listened to my inner doubt one day and avoiding my true desires to write, I found this fantastic piece of advice while stumbling through the vastness of the internet. It struck me so profoundly that I posted a note right over the top of my computer to constantly remind me of its thoughtful and inspiring message.

It has helped me overpower the doubts I fight, sometimes daily, in this quest of mine to write a better story.

So here it is. I truly hope you glean from it everything I did and it can prove as a source of weaponry against your own ‘doubting demon’.

I wish you only good luck in your pursuits, whatever they may be. Follow your dreams, they will lead you to good places.

S.J. Johnson




“Any creator of anything knows this feeling:

You experience someone else’s innovative work. It’s beautiful, brilliant, breath-taking. You’re stunned.

Their ideas are unexpected and surprising, but perfect.

You think, “I never would have thought of that. How do they even come up with that? It’s genius!

Afterwards, you think, “My ideas are so obvious. I’ll never be as inventive as that.”

I get this feeling often. Amazing books, music, movies, or even amazing conversations. I’m in awe at how the creator thinks like that. I’m humbled.

But I continue to do my work. I tell my little tales. I share my point of view. Nothing spectacular. Just my ordinary thoughts.

One day someone emailed me and said, “I never would have thought of that. How did you even come up with that? It’s genius!”

Of course I disagreed, and explained why it was nothing special.

But afterwards, I realized something surprisingly profound:

Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them.

I’ll bet even John Coltrane or Richard Feynman felt that everything they were playing or saying was pretty obvious.

So maybe what’s obvious to me is amazing to someone else?

Hit songwriters, in interviews, often admit that their most successful hit song was one they thought was just stupid, even not worth recording.

We’re clearly a bad judge of our own creations. We should just put it out and let the world decide.

Are you holding back something that seems too obvious to share?”


The Micro-Story Writing Game on FB

Fantastic stories, we’re just missing yours!
Only eighteen days left to participate, read and vote. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a free copy of my book with your micro-story.
We have some excellent story submissions from very talented writers. Click the link now and check them out!

** Writers, be sure to share again and get your friends to read and vote for your entry **


Join the Fun!

The Micro-Story Writing Game on

Top 5 ways to open up your creative flow

1. Trust your canvas: don’t fear the blank screen. 

With even a single glimmer of an idea, don’t hesitate until you’re overwhelmed with ideas, start writing about it in the simplest form possible right now. Start with an outline, in the middle, the ending or the first line of the first page. Picture a scene or interaction between just two characters or the thoughts of only one character and run with it. Then go back and copy and paste it into the proper place if you need to. It doesn’t matter in which order you create it, as long as you keep writing you’re moving forward with the story, even if you work from somewhere in the middle outward. *Hint: A lot of mystery writers write backward on purpose through their stories to fold up the storyline plot twists.

2. Inspiration is everywhere:  stop, relax and listen to your inner voice.

If you already know your characters then explore them. Read about or research where they live. Imagine what they might eat, how they dress, their hobbies, interest’s or dreams. Make them very real in your mind so that they are easier to envision in certain situations.

If you don’t have an idea for a story and you’re starting from nothing, know that your story can come from anywhere. Looking for divine inspiration is easier than you might think. What inspires you? What makes you want to…? What thrills you or makes your heart skip a beat?

Think about your favorite book, movie or something interesting you found on the web. A personal story you overheard. Imagine how you can change it in a way to make it better or more interesting. Think about the hero/heroin and then imagine the plot as if it were you in their place. How would you have done things differently? How should the story have unfolded?

3. Give yourself subliminal encouragement: become a Post-It junkie.


Use an entire pad of post-it notes and on separate pages write out different scenario’s, scenes, ideas, characters on each note. Now do this every time you get inspired by something else inside your story. Post them somewhere within sight of where you normally write. Put them where you will see them throughout the day to give yourself encouragement and future inspiration. Leave ideas in your wallet, car, and pockets. Leave the posted ideas, plots and story builders for yourself everywhere. It will not only help to keep you inspired but will also rekindle your desire and make you want to take a time out to write.

4. Eliminate distractions, concentrate: find someplace comfortable, turn off Internet!

If you don’t absolutely need the Internet to do the task before you, disconnect. Literally pull the plug. This may sound drastic, but really, the Internet is the biggest time-waster ever invented (which is why I love it). It will suck you in and never let you go. It’s like crack, but with an educational and entertaining value. Turn it off.

Now focus.

5. Find your timing: pick your schedule, don’t wait for it present itself.

It makes very little sense to try to sit at the keyboard or with pen and paper to concentrate on the next greatest novel while the children are ripping through the house screaming about the tardiness of their next meal, just before your roommate decides to throw another impromptu party or your boss is waiting for you to finish up the task at hand. Pay attention to your daily routine and find an opening. Really listen to yourself and discover when is the best time for you to be able to open up your ideas and create. If all you can find is an hour a day, or one day a week, then use that time. Do not ‘wait until there’s a better time’, because let’s face it the better timing won’t happen until it’s too late.



Sometimes the creative flow picks bad timing for us and it strikes somewhere outside the schedule. Don’t fool yourself by thinking, ‘I’ve got to remember that’, because as good as your intentions are, you will forget that great idea and frustrate yourself even more by crashing your creative flow with the process of trying to remember. In these instances I have a cheap notebook in my purse, by my bed and in my car so that I can quickly jot down a really good spontaneous idea. Not a novel worth, just some quick notes to help refresh my memory. I also text my own cell phone with unexpected inspirations that I really don’t want to lose. Later, when the creative juices seemed to have dried up, I refer to these fantastic ideas.

Instant creative flow!

Good luck to you in your endeavors to write. Don’t stop. If there is a will, you will find a way.

S.J. Johnson