“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”—William Wordsworth
One thing that strikes me about my writing is that the process has changed very little since I first started jotting down stories around age six. An idea fills my head and whines, cajoles, begs or bullies until I pay attention. Sometimes the ideas are so charming that I scoop them up in a hug. Other times, they’re so annoying that I snap, “What?” at their insistence. But either way, I can no more walk away from one than I could walk away from a child in need.
The ideas originate in my head, but they seem to have a mind, an essence, an existence of their own. I feel more like a vessel than an owner. Succumbing to these ideas’ insistence to flow through me is profoundly joyful, but also utterly involuntary. And that hasn’t changed since I was six.
What has changed, I hope, is my wisdom, my insight, my courage . . . my head’s ability to make enough sense of these ideas to shape them into something meaningful, even the ones that scare me. Especially the ones that scare me.
I’m guessing you’ll glean from my books that I love all words, any words. Whether I’m writing for a young child, a tween, a young adult or a Ph.D., I try hard to move my reader . . . to make his world a little bigger or his heart a little fuller. Hopefully both.
So there you have it: I love words and I love ideas, and if I didn’t love them, they’d badger me anyhow.
Thanks for sharing the experience with me.