The first piece of advice I found when I started my writing journey was to write every day. Some days a little, some days a lot, but work those writing muscles. I have been writing down a new idea pretty much every day. Sometimes I just pop a few words into my ipad reminders. Sometimes I open a document and write a few words which turn into sentences. And sentences become paragraphs. Voila! A draft!
Some days an idea strikes me at the grocery store or in the car, and I have to store it in my brain all morning. I always think I have a winner. When I finally get home and put pen to paper, I can't even finish a good sentence. Somewhere between bananas and home the idea has lost its promise. Nonetheless, the orphaned sentence is tucked into bed right next to the drafts.
All those little abandoned tidbits are important. You never know when the magic clue will drop into place to turn a thought into a book. Today, for example, I walked out of the gym carrying my daughter. A woman on the sidewalk smiled and said, "What a cute little rosebud you have there." Little did she know I was looking for a few cute nicknames to complete my book "Two Little Ladybugs." Bingo!