Pondering time

I know you want to start writing down that new idea of yours. It’s calling to you. You think it’s going to be a breakout hit. But don’t do it. No! Don’t! You’re going to ruin it.

Let me explain.

Yesterday I said that I was starting on a new chapter book project, inspired by my daughter. And by “starting” I mean I’m just thinking about it. I let it drift around in my mind for days or weeks or months and when I finally feel like I have a bead on it, that’s when I start writing stuff down. I know that some people are very big on making notes right away, but writing things down too soon takes the ether out of the thing. (Or the thing out of the ether.)

New ideas need time to be flimsy and unformed so that it can gather weight on its own. Ever try to grab on to a butterfly with your bare hands and actually catch the poor thing? Well it’s a little like that. New ideas need to be treated gingerly. Soon they’re strong enough to wrestle with on the page. Or screen. Or napkin. Or what-have-you.

So don’t force your idea to become too real too soon. It knocks all the beauty and possibility right out, and whatever could have materialized, is lost by your brute force. Just ponder your new idea. Focus on it, but not too hard, because you don’t want to injure the poor delicate thing.