A couple of things are going on for me right now: I have poison ivy like a mother f'er, and I am rewriting the ending of the novel I foolishly proclaimed "finished" last week. I'm not sure which is more uncomfortable.
The thing is, I have to make the edits to the story. It's uncomfortable because the ending is taking a turn that is unfamiliar to me. The content is inherently difficult. And it's frankly not what I had envisioned for the story over the entire span of writing it. But the new ending works. Whether I like it or not, it works better than what I had written. So much so that, to me, it feels like that's where the story wants to go. It is trying to point me in that direction while I'm writing. I'm not doing any favors imposing my will on it. I need to let it grow into what it wants to grow into.
The whole thing got me thinking about where ideas come from. I have no idea. I make a point of trying to incorporate most of my personal experiences into my work. There's a certain amount of veracity that comes from it. But, this story wants to go places that are unfamiliar to me. Where do those ideas come from? The ones that just seem to fit, but the source of their influence remains mysterious, because they're so far from anything I have experienced before.
Perhaps there is such a thing as a muse, or a collective consciousness -- some metaphysical web of ideas that are floating around, waiting to be accessed. I find it hard to believe, but due to my experience writing this story, I have begun to toss the notion around. Whatever the source of ideas, I think the most important part is being open to new ones. I made an attempt to close myself off to the conclusion that my story desired, because it felt alien to me. That was a mistake. The ending it wants to write for itself is organic, dramatic, and encompasses all of the themes covered throughout the story. Wherever it came from, I appreciate that it found me.