the way of it

A few weeks ago, a fellow writer, Amy K. Nichols, published a post on her website entitled “How this writing thing works“. It’s good, so you should read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

[insert 2-5 minutes depending on your reading speed]

Thanks for indulging me. (Because there is no way, no way, you just skipped right over Amy’s thoughts and continued straight away to this paragraph. Why, you probably even left her article up in another browser tab, just in case you need to reference it while finishing up here, didn’t you? Wow. I’m impressed.)

Amy details her personal writing process. Not methodology so much as an example of how inspiration finds her on its own schedule, and how she opens her arms to inspiration when that happens, putting the world on pause if need be. I really enjoyed that insight into how her characters speak to her.

But, as cool as I think that is, that’s how this writing thing works for Amy. It may not work that way for me or you. And that’s okay.

Reading about her process calls attention to my own–both what’s similar and what’s different–and opens my eyes to moments of inspiration I may have been missing. But it’s not a how-to guide. I don’t need to start frosting cakes every day, hoping my next great epiphany will find me somewhere between the second and third layers. It’s merely insight into how Amy finds her stories.

How you find yours is your business, and it may be similar to Amy’s experiences, or my experiences, or it may be completely different. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to adopt another writer’s revelatory ways carte blanche. Just get to know your own.

Know when and how inspiration finds you so you can be ready for it, open and on the look out. And if, by chance, there’s cake involved, send a piece my way.

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