That said, sometimes an idea grabs me and I have to run with it. Such was the case last Thursday with Needle Magazine's first flash fiction contest. Due May 18, the entries have to involve a needle of some kind.
This inspired me to revisit a character I last wrote about five years ago, which led me to respond to a post Saturday by Do Some Damage blogger Scott D. Parker, mired in a creative dry spell and wondering, "What do you do when you think everything you write sucks?"
I've been through similar dry spells, and for me the answer is not to think about what I'm writing; just write it. This is not a radical notion. Every story starts as a super-creative brainstorm. Only after this first, nonjudgmental stage do I begin self-editing. Self-editing too early of course cuts creativity short.
If I break the creative process into smaller steps, I avoid thinking my writing has to be too good at any one point. The only time it has to be excellent is when I finally post or submit the story.
That's the approach I'm taking with my character from five years ago, and I finished a first draft this morning.