What is the thing you love most about writing?
I read this question and answers flooded my mind. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43 written in 1850)
Writing is not easy. I call on help from the Lord multiple times besides my daily prayer as I sit to set down words. There are days I believe my well is dry and I don’t know where the words will come from. And I wonder, is my writing life over? Then I’m rejuvenated by what enters my mind when I’m not looking for words to flow.
I have learned to keep note paper and pen handy no matter where I am. In the midst of a project I’m more open to nature, my daily devotion, or what I read that day in the Bible. I’ve taken notes during sermons, tuned in to snippets of conversation, and caught phrases from the TV (there hasn’t been much encouragement during the second quarter of 2020, though).
As I pen this my mind goes back to our recent vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where we were over the Fourth of July. The weather couldn’t be more tempestuous in those hills, yet delightful compared to the humidity of Nebraska in July and August. I noted that mornings are usually sunny, when the meadowlarks trill their song. Late afternoon, clouds often roll in to cover the sky. Prior to one thunderstorm, circular rows of clumped gray clouds filled the western sky. I looked them up and learned they’re called mammatus. I can use that in the story I’m working on now.
During my brainstorming period, I’ll take 5-10 days to mostly relax and open up my heart and mind to whatever is up ahead, preparing for those days I set a word count and get busy on my first draft.
I love the times when ideas, dialogue, or the next scene come to me while I’m not at my desk. The shower is my favorite. I have to repeat what entered my mind over and over so it’s still there by the time I’m dried off and can jot it down. Working a puzzle, doing dishes, playing cards with my hubby, pulling weeds, walking, riding in the car, looking into my dog’s luminous brown eyes are all examples of times “things to write” have come to me.
The writing experience that makes me giddy is when my hero and heroine are “talking” and they take over the story. Sometimes it’s hard for my fingers to keep up with them.
Each project is a little different from the ones prior. I rest in the knowledge I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing at this time in my life. And always, my goal is to bring glory to my Savior.