There’s Always Time to Write

Like any other art form (or non-art skill), writing takes discipline.  This requires not just studying the craft by reading various styles, genres and authors, but actually sitting your butt down in a chair and putting pen to paper. [1]  This also means carving out a segment of time (such as an hour) at a particular time of day, where you can write, uninterrupted.  

Do you enjoy rising before the sun, taking in the cool air and early morning sounds as the world begins to wake itself up?  

Take a moment and look at that habit – can you fit an hour to write during that time, while enjoying your coffee or tea?  If so, you’ve found your time to write!

Or do you find that it is evening when you’re most creative, after the noise of the day and you’re in the little sanctuary of home?

Again, find that hour, bring tea to fortify yourself (or other favorite beverage) and let the words flow from your pen! [2]

You may feel that you’re being non-productive at first, especially if no words come, but that’s where having discipline comes in.  The more you show up for yourself by creating the habit, the easier it will become to find the words.

You’ve got this – I have faith in you.

 

[1]  Or fingers to keyboard, if using a computer is your preference.

[2]  Don’t worry if there times when you find writing even one word is problematic – staring into space is part of the process.

The Story Idea Box

On a shelf in my bookcase, there is an old shoe box, where I deposit all kinds of items that I find as I go about my day.  They are, to the casual eye, mundane in nature and unremarkable to anyone but myself, and range from a broken pair of glasses to a phone number that had yet to be assigned by the phone company. [1]  Each item is a mysterious talisman, a little bit of manna from heaven that can lead me down the rabbit-hole of a story.

But what is most intriguing to me is the brief note and postcard left inside a book.

While browsing the local library bookshop, I came across a hardcover edition of In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote.  Having never read it, I pulled it off the shelf and opened it.  A folded note and a postcard featuring the Cartwrights of Bonanza! fell out.

The note was written to a woman named Leslie, in which the author expressed gratitude for the cost of a plane ticket (which she caught with twenty minutes to spare) and a wig.  The rest of the note mentioned a visit and some work via the computer, as well as reimbursement for the ticket.  There was no date, no reference to which side of the coast the author had visited, but the magic was done.

What prompted the author of the note to get a wig and why was she in a rush to catch a flight?

And thus, the beginning of a mystery – or a thriller – or even a tale of horror – has been set.

Where does it lead?

Only you, my dear writer, can answer that.

And now, it’s time to begin your own Story Idea Box.

 

[1] There’s a story behind that mysterious, unassigned phone number, but that’s for a later post.

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