Thousands of nuggets exist in hundreds of forms all around me. Some on paper, some in digital files, others in notebooks. Lately several of them have been crashing together and coalescing into firmer pivots upon which to hang a plot or develop a character. Interestingly, some of these pivots are from nuggets that have been with me for twenty years. Roughly.
I've seen a couple other writers I follow on Twitter say similar things in the last week or so, too.
What allows me to feel like I'm making progress is that every idea, every nugget that I write down makes room in my head for another one. I've been writing these things down for roughly ten years as I pursue the possibility of becoming a published writer like King. Well, not like Stephen King because that kind of success is unlikely. Anyway. So making room by writing the stories and even just noting the ideas allows new ideas to come in.
And some of them collide with the older ideas and that's my process.
Does it work the same way for other writers?
Will any of us get to write all the stories we can dream up? Probably not so we'll have to pick the ones that interest us, drive us, possess us to write. In those instances the work almost takes me over and I can write with a great deal of focus. Even with all the things that demand my time (family, day job, cats, the work that needs to be done in the yard, is it time for an oil change?) if I'm focused on that story I can write in just about any situation.
This isn't whining. The goal is to be a full-time writer in the future so I'm juggling that job with the day job. It's tougher than it might appear. I mean, I get to spend time with fictional people doing rotten things. Some of them I like, some I don't. But they all have a personality and they all have ideas.