Wednesday, July 2, 2014


By Rich (Substituting for an under the weather Shirley)

We have two umbrellas in our household. They aren't used very much in the high desert we live in known as Northern Colorado. In fact, our average rainfall for a year is fifteen inches, and most of that takes place during the late summer monsoon season. The last time I used one of the umbrellas was last September when it rained for an entire week. Still, the umbrellas are somewhere in the house, or the car, or the garage, or a box in the attic where I hide all the good video games.

What does this have to do with writing? Um, I had an answer for this. Let me think...Oh, right! It's to always be prepared. Yes, that's the motto of the Boy Scouts and, if I'm correct, the Kardashians, but it also applies to writers. We always need to be ready for that flash of inspiration, be it with a pen and pad, tape recorder, electronic device, or a mind like a steel trap. At the minimum you need to have the ability to be somewhere to capture these moments. I have had plenty of dreams that never turned into stories because I didn't have a notepad nearby.

And don't think these moments will be scheduled for times where your mind is free of other thoughts. You'll be driving the kids to school, thinking about dinner, and worrying how you'll pay the latest medical bill when you'll see something on the street that explodes into a story idea. Don't do a 360 and head back home to write the idea down. Drop the kids off, grab your phone or napkin, and enter a note or text to pull up later. Heck, write it down in lipstick on a portion of the windshield if you have to. Guys, make sure you use your eyeliner.

You may have heard of Doomsday Preppers, those folks who prepare elaborate shelters in order to survive the next pandemic, financial crash, or zombie apocalypse. Taking them as an example, you're a Writing Prepper, minus the purchase of dehydrated water. Always be ready, because you never know when that flash of inspiration will turn into a great story.


Shirley Drew said...

Thanks, Rich for filling in. And--what a great post! Good advice! BTW, we have several umbrellas though I can't say I know where they are. Kinda like my ideas for posts...always have them, can't always locate them. Hmmm...need to be better prepared!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I finally started keeping a little notebook in my purse, just in case. Goodness knows how many flashes of brilliance have drifted into the twilight zone for lack of a pen or scrap of paper.

Sarah Sullivan said...

So true!!!!! I can't tell you the number of brilliant kernels that have slipped away because I haven't been prepared.

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