Shhh. Come in close. I don’t want anyone else to hear. Yeah, I know my breath tickles . . .
Okay, here it is. I’ve found the literary Fountain of Youth, the equivalent of the Seven Cities of Gold. It’s been a long search, nearly fifty years of sacrifice, difficulties galore. Privation times two. But it was worth it. So what if I couldn’t afford food for awhile? I know how to live off the land. And I can tell you, when the Water Authority cuts you off, honeysuckle nectar is a fine substitute.
But that’s a different story . . .
This is the biggie, the jackpot.
Hey, maybe I should write a book about it. I know it’d go to auction. Sell for, like, a million bucks. I’ve always wanted a yacht. Nothing fancy, a couple hundred feet. I’d go to Tahiti, see if I could scare up an original Gaugin or two. You never know what you can find at those little markets. But I digress . . .
The secret. Here it comes, the key to never having writer’s block again.
Are you ready?
It’s . . . it’s . . . oh, hell, I forgot!
It’s all in two words. "Look and do." Okay, that’s three, but you know what I mean. You don’t? Do I really need to spell it out for you? Okay.
You can find inspiration in the most ordinary things.
Take this morning. One of my kids walked into the office while I was staring at the computer and biting a hangnail.
She tossed a set of keys on the desk. "What are these for?"
"Hell if I know."
"What should I do with them?"
Bingo! I had the beginning of a short story about safety deposit boxes, or a poem about smelting metal, or an essay about closed doors and open hearts. I could write a novel about a group of kids who go to this magical school and find this enchanted bunch of keys. It could be the next Harry Potter. Hey, Oprah might call!
There’s not much to say about it. I’ve always found "and" to be useful.
The trick is to actually take the stuff in your head and get it down on paper.
I don’t care how you do it. Tappity tap on the keyboard. Or use a tape recorder. Or hire one of those people that sounds like that club for brainiacs — a menses? No, Mensa. That’s not right either. You know, an amanuensis. Yeah, that’s it.
Well, maybe there’s one more word:
NO! Don’t stop writing!
Just stop that editor in your head that freezes your brain and makes you scared to put sentences together because they might all sound like a fifth-grader’s paper about the water cycle.
You see, when you’re trying to get your ideas down in the first place, you’ve got to go for the gusto, reach for the stars, make your dreams come true — even if every other phrase is cliche. Who cares? We’re not talking about editor’s block here.
So, that’s it. I’ve blessed you with solid gold. Diamonds. Gas at $.25/gal.
Just do me a favor. If Oprah calls, give her my number too.