Tag Archives: ideas


The snow is falling again.  The trees that were almost brown yesterday now huddle under a blanket of white.

Sometimes snow comes down in flakes, sometimes in tiny balls of ice.  At the moment it’s falling one tiny, almost invisible fragment at a time, but tomorrow I might get lost in it just stepping out my front door.

Writing is like that too.  Sometimes I’ll get a single solitary idea that drifts in and might be gone if I wait too long or get distracted.  Sometimes the idea is a chunk of ice that falls and loses itself among all the other chunks of ice.  Sometimes the ideas come in flurries and I can’t decide which to use, and sometimes I could just sit and watch them drift for hours.

Like snowflakes, ideas are fragile and ephemeral, there one moment and lost the next into a sheet of white that smothers the world.

The trick is to hold one of those in your mind long enough to get to the computer (or the paper, if you write that way) and begin.

If you continue watching, enjoying the beauty of drifting white, the ideas will be lost and you’ll never find them again.

At least that’s the way it is for me.  Ideas spring at me in the most unlikely places, sometimes tiny and fragile, sometimes bludgeoning me with the need to write.  Most of them go by unnoticed.  A few catch my attention, but once in a while I’ll actually manage to get to the computer before the idea melts into oblivion.

Although there are some major differences as well–I have never shoveled eighteen inches of story ideas off my front porch.


Whisperings beyond the Window

Once upon a time a writer had a desk job, in an office, with a window.  She worked at her desk job day in and day out, and when she went home she thought about her desk and the work waiting.

Then one day she looked out the window, in her office, beside her desk.  She saw people out there, living out their lives, and she wondered about the woman in the mini-van and the driver of the semi parked in the driveway.  Was he aware of the two people idling behind his semi, or the one who just went over the curb to get around it? 

Was the semi full of explosives, or had someone drilled up through the pavement into the cab and kidnapped the driver?  Writers wonder about stuff like that.

And as she wondered, she noticed a computer sitting on her desk.  And slowly the words began to come.  One word.  Then another.  And the wonderings became reality, so quickly that she wondered (there’s that word again) if these stories were sitting in the other cubicles around her desk, in her office, or just on the other side of the window whispering the details of their lives to the writer.

The wonderings became more wonderings, and soon the desk vanished (her work was done for the day) and the office vanished, and the window vanished.  Still she continued writing, and will, I’m certain, until they nail shut her coffin.  With her computer by her side.

Once upon a time, a writer had something to say.  It’s that simple.