|Photo courtesy of Free Artistic Photos|
A good friend reminded me recently of something a writing mentor said to us years ago: "Don’t rush your words."
In her book, The Wave in the Mind, Ursula K. Le Guin reinforces that message. She says, “Your mind is like a cat hunting; it’s not even sure yet what it’s hunting. It listens. Be patient like the cat. Very, very attentive, alert, but patient. Slow. Don’t push the story to take shape. Let it show itself. Let it gather impetus. Keep listening. Make notes or whatever if you’re afraid you’ll forget something, but don’t rush to the computer. Let the story drive you to it. When it’s ready to go, you’ll know it.”
I was struck with a new story idea last week, which at first I thought was very inconvenient, because I’m already deep into a project. But this new idea was so different from anything I normally write, that I couldn’t help but get excited about it. So right now, I’m like that hunting cat - attentive, alert, but patient. I'm taking notes and capturing the voice of the character that started telling me her story. I don’t know if I need to remind myself not to rush – I am naturally a slow writer. Still I find Le Guin’s words encouraging confirmation. And I’m enjoying the discovery process as the depth of the idea reveals itself to me.
Do you let new ideas reveal themselves to you slowly or are you more apt rush to the computer and pounce on them?