Welcome to another behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the production of Just Tegan. Since someone on Facebook asked about this recently, I figured now was as good a time as any to talk about how I come up with my ideas. Yep, I’m going to talk a little about inspiration and what I consider when coming up with content for the site.
In the Beginning. . .
My content ideas come from a variety of places. As with much of the stuff that I write, I’m primarily inspired by the media I consume. There was this one time that I wrote an entire LARP about the Tam Lin story based on repeatedly listening to “Tam Lin” by Coyote Run. The LARP, my novice attempt, was kind of terrible. By kind of, I mean it was terrible. I’ve played in worse and heard about worse still, but let’s not dwell on how far I’ve come where LARP writing is concerned.
That’s just one example of how random things inspire me. I once saw this great picture on the internet that was this kid standing in front of a mirror and seeing a unicorn as his reflection. Let me show it to you.
It’s a drawing by Sebastien Millon. When I saw it, the first thing that came to mind was that the unicorn reminded me of a card from Card Against Humanity in that it made me think it was “an honest cop with nothing left to lose.” That got me to thinking about writing a story about a cop who just happens to be a unicorn. I started writing that story for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2013. Like with most NaNoWriMo tales of mine, it remains unfinished. I’ll get back to it someday soon.
Let’s go to another example of random bits of inspiration. Two years ago, I was helping my friends with their wedding. I’d offered my assistance and they ultimately took me up on said offers of assistance. They asked me about my qualifications. I told them I was neurotic and watched a ton of wedding shows. That was enough for them, but I digress. The bride was having some sort of issue with one of the bridesmaids and I suggested that she sit down with the rogue bridesmaid to sort things out. Rogue Bridesmaid then became the title for my unfinished NaNoWriMo 2012. Man, that was/is such an amusing concept.
So, yes, I get inspiration from all over the place: books, music, pictures, and movies. A good chunk of my really awesome ideas come to me when I’m in the shower. I’m told that this is not an unusual thing for creative types. When I had long commutes, I’d come up with a few good ideas while on the road. I suppose my lack of a long commute is one of the reasons why it can be occasionally challenging to formulate fantastic ideas.
When it comes to coming up with content for this site, I occasionally find myself stumbling. That’s where my friends and fans come in to offer their assistance. Seriously, you guys are amazing and a constant source of random ideas.
I find the blogging process here to be alternately freeing and limiting. One the one hand, this has been a great way to share some of the random pop culture thought trains that travel the expanse of my brain. On the other, there are times when I don’t have anything particularly nerdy that I feel like discussing. That’s when you randomly get bits of personal exposition. That was part of the reason why Mondays became Me Monday on the site. You either get my opinion about a random topic or you get me talking about my life.
There are days when a current event really makes me want to blog. Like mentioning the recent spate of people being complete and utter jerks on the internet. I’m not going to give those guys any more publicity by mentioning their terrible campaign by name, but you know how I feel about those trolls. Those are the times when I do make an attempt at being timely. Most of the time, I feel like I’ve caught on to the timely topics too late and don’t have anything useful to add to that particular conversation.
I just go along with whatever pops into my head before I pull up the site. There’s no true method to my madness here as I never really know what’s going to grab people’s attention. I don’t think anyone truly knows what blog posts will really catch someone’s eye. Well, I suppose precognitive skills would come in handy in that regard, but that’s something I don’t yet have.
When people ask me about what my plans for the site are and what I do here, I frequently tell folks that I “word vomit” and people sometimes read it. That you guys keep coming back for more will never cease to amaze and humble me. I try to keep things as entertaining in possible.
At the end of the day, all I can do is write about whatever comes to mind. So far, it’s a tactic that’s been working for me. More or less.