Sometimes the words just come to me. In a dream, or as I hear something on TV or on the radio or in a passing conversation. They jump out at me and force me to pay attention. It can be a fragment, or even a whole sentence. I was always told that you should pay attention when that happens. They might go into a poem or one of my stories.
I want to tell you all more about how I think when I write (and do more of it!) I recently wrote a short story called “A Little Not Music.” There is a part in it: “‘You didn’t listen.’ It was all she could do not to.” That came to me just before I went to sleep one night and stayed with me. I just knew that I had to do something with it, it felt so strong.
Pay attention to things like that. The words that just jump out and stay with you. I’ve found things written on the backs of receipts, napkins, jotted down in my phone, scribbled on scrap paper…
…But I know that even those scraps are holding gems.
What’s your process when the words come to you?