Thoughts on Chasing Words

I’ve been feeling deprived recently because I seem to have had so little time to write fiction. Then, when I was trapped in an airport waiting for a late plane, I suddenly got the starting lines of two stories. It reminded me of something I wrote a while back about chasing words, so I thought I’d share it here.

Where do the words come from?

Words come to me when I have no time, when I’m under pressure, when I’m tired, when I’m locked in a plane, or trapped in an airport. They race across my mind like bitches in heat, willing to be caught but determined to make me work for it.

Words do not come to me when I clear my desk and my mind and set aside time to write. Then I have to go to them.

I seek them like a dog looking for rabbits in an empty field. I work at it, poking my nose into one empty rabbit hole after another. When I’m tired, and almost out of time the words will pop up out a hole I’ve already looked in, right on the edge of my vision, and make me chase them with what little energy if have left.

Sometimes, when I have left the chase behind and turned my mind to real life, words will come to me in dreams, pouring themselves across my consciousness like spilt ink. To catch them I must wake swiftly and work hard and at the end it seems to me that the best of them have escaped to haunt me another day.

I may never catch enough words to write a novel but I have learned that I will always be chasing words.

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