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.