Word Storms

For me, writing is like rain.
Sometimes, it’s like an intermittent summer rainstorm. A word here, a snippette of dialogue there, that will come to me out of the bright, blue sky. It might be the kernel of an idea and nothing more, like a few drops of rain hitting the back deck, darkening it for just a moment before drying away, leaving no sign behind of its passing. It might be a short, sweet storm of words that make up a paragraph or two at most. I have a notebook for these short spurts of words. I carry it with me everywhere I go and I write these words into it so that I don’t lose them forever before the rest of the idea comes to me.
Sometimes, an idea will begin to build, much like a coming storm will begin to build. I’ll be doing something totally unassociated with writing, and an idea will take hold in my mind like storm clouds occasionally blow in to mar a perfect, clear sky. The idea will swell in my mind like the clouds swell as they begin to fill with stormwater, darken to cover everything else, and then the words will begin flow like the storm breaks, washing the pages in words as the rain washes the earth in nourishing water. When this happens, I usually find myself sitting at the computer, staring at a blank screen, waiting for the storm to begin.
At other times, it’s a sudden deluge, a flood of words that can’t be denied, but that start out with a lightning flash of an idea and then the words come out in a loud, crashing rush, blocking out everything else and filling page after page after page, almost of their own accord. During these storms of words, I can’t do anything else but grab pen and paper or sit typing at my computer and let the words flow through me, cleaning up the mess left behind after the storm is over, much like one would go outside after a big storm and clean up their yard of fallen tree limbs and other detritus left behind after a passing storm cell.
These storms of words last for seconds or hours, depending on the story that wants to be told. Others last for months and years, hanging silently, sometimes ominously, in the background, nudging forward every once in awhile as if to remind me that they are still there before gliding back to hang in the dark recesses of the atmosphere of my mind.

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