Stories Write Themselves

In The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she says that writers get their ideas from a great creative well. All we writers need to do is be open and listen for the ideas to flow and to record them when they do.

While trying to relax in pigeon pose this morning, I started thinking about a teenage girl with an alcoholic mother. After a few minutes of thinking about this teen, what she wanted, and the discouragements she faced, I realized what I had been thinking of were the characters and the plot for a story. Since I am already working on novel, I decided to make this a short story.

After meditation and breakfast, I sat down to write my morning pages. I created a new Scrivener project and wrote a brief story summary. I paused to add more details and then returned to my morning writing a few times.

After morning pages, I went to Starbucks with my computer and spent time writing the story. As I went along, new details popped into my head: the Southern, small-town setting, rich/poor rivalry with a female classmate, obstacles to her own self determination will deal with people, and an old note of encouragement will lead her to her old mentor and a new path for herself.

When I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2008, the first author pep talk was by Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy. When asked where he gets his ideas, Pullman says his ideas come to him when he sits down to write. If he doesn’t sit down to write, then the ideas do not come. This morning, I learned what that experience felt like.

I find writing and generating ideas to be a wondrous process wherein I feel like I am doing the right thing with my life. I am entering my short story in the 83rd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. I want to start getting professional feedback on my writing. I want to be the best writer I can be.


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