Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing Magic: First you have to plant some seeds...

Raise your hand if sometimes your writing life stumbles. You decide to clean your desk - or your office, or your whole house - instead of focusing on the creative process. You let the distractions take over. You are overwhelmed by Life (okay, this really does happen, so I'll cut you some slack here.)

Domestic chores don't get done unless someone does them. Journeys don't get completed unless the traveller gets in the car (boards the train/plane, takes that first step, etc). Flowers don't grow unless someone puts a seed in the soil.

Yes - let's go with that one.

Imagine these are your creations:


They're your characters, scenes, stories, novels, poems, plays, whatever.

Gorgeous, rich, tall, full of life, right?

Well, they didn't happen by magic. 

They started out as little black seeds in a packet. Lifeless. Dry. 


But put them in the soil, give them some water, and one day you'll see these:


My point? 

The writing life doesn't happen by magic. 

Here's the secret: If you want your creativity to grow, you have to plant the seeds. Now. Don't put roadblocks in your own way. I mean, really, how hard is it to pick up the packet, rip it open, tip out the little, black, dormant seeds and push them into the soil?

Whatever metaphor you want to use is just fine - putting seeds in the soil, taking that first step on a journey, or (as Louis L'Amour wrote), turning on the faucet to get the water flowing - it all amounts to the same concept.

Get started. Now.

It's not magic, it's just one more truth in the writing life, and this from a writer (moi!) who has a championship history of putting roadblocks in her own way. Seeing those little sprouts in my garden this morning, and thinking back to the towering, gorgeous sunflowers I enjoyed as last summer crept to a close, I gave myself a mental shake.

It all starts somewhere. Seat of the pants in the seat of the chair, etc. 

But first you have to plant some seeds.

Need some help with finding the seed packet? Here are some writing starters from author and teacher Heather Wright.


  1. Thanks for the link, Jean, and the inspiration boost. I'm sitting here with some seeds and a few sprouts at the moment--and a lot of untilled soil. Time to get planting--writing!

  2. I experienced as last summer time crept to a near, I provided myself a psychological tremble. It's not miracle,Seeing those little seedlings in my lawn today, and considering back to the massive, stunning sunflowers it's just one more fact in the composing life, and this from a author who has a tournament record of placing hurdles in her own way.