Note: For my friends who take part in Lent, Blessed Ash Wednesday to you!
Last summer, I had the good fortunate of dipping my feet into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico while on a trip with my sister down South.
My toes were immersed in this large body of water, that connects to another body of water, and another, and yet another after that.
This week we’ve gotten a dumping of heavy, wet snow here, but I’m still experiencing that feeling of being in a place where things are connected and flowing. It’s helped me realize that sometimes writing is as much about being in the channel as all the other things that are required, like talent, adeptness and experience.
To explain further, after reading my newspaper article on mother mentors this weekend, my mother-in-law commented by email, “Well done! I bet this is another story you had neatly tucked away to tell…See, all the years building up to this job are now paying off with a wealth of stories yet to be told by you! Bravo!!!”
What she said resonated because it rings true. I’ve been blessed with many years of experiencing life when ideas were many but the channels in which to place them were few. Slowly, I began dipping my toes into small rivers, but they were not wide enough for all of my ideas. But now, at my reporting job, many of those ideas are finding a home, and it’s exhilarating to experience.
Not only that, but now that I have a regular place in which to share these stories, new and fresh ideas that have the potential to become stories are appearing everywhere I go. I’m overhearing conversations and meeting people who would make great subjects for our paper. It’s such a rush to catch a nugget of a future story and have hope that it might become something more than an idea.
We writers live with ideas that go undeveloped all the time. Blogs and journals can be one way to deal with this backlog of thought, but they say not to give away your best work. I’ve tried to be mindful about what spills out here. In fact, some of my best stuff is still within my heart and head, waiting for the right time to come to light.
It’s about the search for the openings, and then, when they come, prioritizing which ideas were meant to be just private thoughts between you and God, and which were meant for air.
Q4U: When did you last experience the exhilaration of finding the right place for your work?