This week I’ve been gathering. Quotes and thoughts, songs and pleasant things – they were everywhere. After sending this round of novel revisions to my agent, I sort of wondered if maybe I was done forever. I was very tired – not of writing exactly. But of trying to be a writer. I figured the urge would come back around eventually, but I planned to get in some good chick flicks and several books (by other people) first. I thought it might be a month or more before I decided to try again.
Turns out, it was about a day.
I’m reading a book about my all-time favorite author. It’s made me really sad at times. (I’m sure I’ll write about it when I’m through). But at every moment, it has fascinated me. And it’s about all the things that author gathered that eventually led to one of the most beloved books of all time. The biography quotes the author’s journal – two sentences, years and years before she wrote her first novel. And that sentence is just a truth she heard that became a passing thought that became the plot for a novel. It will give away my author if I quote it, but I wasn’t trying to hide it anyway. “Elderly couple apply to orphan asylum for a boy. By mistake a girl is sent them.” Oh the big, very big, ginormous, wonderful thing that sentence one day became. So. Incredibly. Inspiring.
I want to write about all the things I’ve gathered – the quotes I starred in an article about Drew Barrymore, the many things I’ve loved in the book about L.M. Montgomery (and the things I haven’t), the song I’ve recently discovered and why it means so much to me, conversations I’ve had, moments with friends… But really, it’s too much for one blog post. It’s probably too much for one blog. Because the things Drew Barrymore said probably won’t mean that much to you. Maybe the song wouldn’t even – it will take some explaining to tell you why it makes me cry. And probably not much of the L.M. Montgomery stuff will weigh as heavily on your heart as it does on mine either. I’ll probably trickle the ideas through to you anyway, because – that’s sort of what I do here. And maybe you’ll at least understand why they moved me and perhaps even feel a little moved yourself. But really, I just hope you’re gathering your own things. What you discover for yourself will mean so much more.
I’m not saying we all have to take our gathered things and with them write beloved novels. But just think how those things we gather have a way of writing ourselves. They seep in and become a part of us and of what we believe and therefore what we do. It definitely makes me want to try and gather only very good and very beautiful things.