For me, the creative process is like being pregnant. I have a moving experience, I hear an inspiring story, or something strikes me funny and suddenly I'm in love with a story idea. In a rush of inspiration I grab a pad of paper and a pen as soon as I can and write that idea down while it's fresh in my mind. If I wait until the next day or the next minute, sometimes, the passion is gone and the story is lost. But, once the thought is written down, it sits in my journal, spins around in my head and germinates. I think about it every day. I play with scenarios, dream about it, and let it just rattle around for awhile as I live life.
For awhile it seems there's nothing happening. The ideas I have are disjointed. The words aren't clear. Then one day, a few phrases or sentences are formed. I keep repeating them to myself or write them down hiding them away in a folder marked, "WIP" (work in progress). Every now and again, I take out that folder, look at the words I scribbled on the page and pray something strikes me. If it doesn't I file it away and go on with life.
But then, in the midst of wondering if the words will every flow; if the story will ever take form, it does. It usually comes after discussing the story, out loud, with someone I trust. There's just something about speaking the words. It's like breathing life into them and suddenly, the story becomes real. It takes shape and form and matures until it's ready to be birthed on paper.
Today was that day! I'd been waiting since August to see the story on paper. Having spent some time down south this summer, I gathered some great ideas. They've rattled around in the cobwebs of my upper room just waiting to get out. Finally today, one of those stories eked out. I can't tell you the relief to finally see printed words on a page; the beginning of another children's story in black and white!
I can see an end in sight. There's the pain of laboring over words and form but I know there will be overwhelming joy when I hold my new baby!