I believe that in the beginning, writing is intuitive. I believe in the muse. I believe that we are visited by ideas in our sleep. I believe in signs and in magic.LizPortait2013_0012-(ZF-1727-01312-1-001) (1) I believe in craft, too. I do. But that’s for later. The shaping, the skill, the rules and revisions and best practices. First comes an openness to possibility and a willingness to be ridiculous and wrong, but also, just maybe, to be right. It is tha optimism — the “hey, I may be onto something here” — that carries us from blank page to story. Each day, as a writer, I follow little threads of image and thought, and I discover what I might make from them, the way a bird does as she nests. Some of the threads are lasting and substantial, others get pulled out and float away, others still get saved and turned into something else, later. We would all like to start with something solid — the whole nest, tangible and reliable and lovely — or, at the very least, with some sense of what will become solid, what is worth our early effort. But it doesn’t work that way. There’s no telling. Some of the best titles I ever came up with never got a story to go with them. Some of my lowliest ideas became books. Nothing is revealed until after we begin pulling and weaving and teasing and building and playing. There’s no skipping this stage. It is how we get to what is real. Prompt #12:  Set a timer for two minutes and during those two minutes, take in and write down everything you can: Your current thoughts. What you skin feels like. The weather. The sounds in the room. The things on your to-do list. Memories. Wishes. The weather again. Last night’s dream. Yesterday’s argument. Don’t narrate these things just take note of them: Fought with Bob over indoor cats or indoor cats Smells like candle wax in here No wind/still as stone Disneyland this summer Make chowder, return library books — yikes, turn off chowder — clean kitchen Etc. Now, you’ve given yourself threads. Follow one or more of them, just for a minute or two at a time. See where they take you. You may be surprised….

blogger bio iconA Bit About Liz

Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of critically acclaimed book ALL THE WORLD as well as A SOCK IS A POCKET FOR YOUR TOES,  NOODLE AND LOU, THINK BIG, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUNNY,  and most recently THE GOOD-PIE PARTY which hits shelf this March.  Liz is an expert word smith and shares her word play skills with students at Austin Community college as well as a few select writing groups across the country.  To learn more about Liz click here.

all the world a socknoodle and lou think big hb bunny good pie party

facebooktwitterpinterestmailby feather