Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Embracing the unexpected

It happens either on a Sunday or first thing Monday morning: I create a weekly “to-do” list for the coming week. Because I have so much going on, this has proven to be the best way for me to remember everything I need to do, especially for that particular week, as well as manage everything. (You can read my article about creating a weekly to-do list here.) Seriously, I’d be lost without these lists. They really work in keeping everything front and center. Link
But aside from the occasional SIGNews assignment or deadline, my weekly to-do list can get to be predictable – if not boring. OK, yes, “predictable” does mean “boring.” And where’s the fun of that? Who wants to keep doing the same old, same old week after week after week? Yuck!

That was my feeling when I put together my list (which I also call my “schedule”) for this past week. I took a look at everything I’d written down, which was pretty much similar to the one I had for the previous week, then released a huge sigh. Same stuff again. Yippee.

I sent up a silent plea. Why can’t this week be (gasp!) different? Why can’t I try something else this week? Why can’t I write something different this week? I WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Give me variety or give me death!

Yet, I trudged on. Monday came. Here we go. It was showtime!

Soon, however, I was to see that my little plea for something different would be answered. It seems my muse had other plans for me this week, because I read something in a nonfiction book I am reviewing, and it totally blew me away. But not only did it blow me away – it got me to thinking. What if this could be a story? Of course, I was so shocked by what I read in that book that I could not continue to read it, but at the same time, you know, the wheels were turning. I started asking myself a stream of “what if?” questions – all questions that would lead me to coming up with a story idea based on that very thing.

But my muse did not stop there. Even as I started writing that story, more story ideas poured in. It seemed as though every day of the week meant new ideas for stories to write. As it is, I woke up twice this morning (at 4 a.m. then at 8 a.m.) with two story ideas after each awakening!

So this week turned itself into a “fiction writing week” for me. Instead of another round of reading books for review. I was on a story-writing spree! Ideas for new stories came out of the blue at every turn. Yay!

So it seems that I got to have something different to work on this week, after all. Of course, I kept up with the book reviews – though not as consistently as I normally do because I was busy writing so much. And I kept up with proofreading for a publisher. But I also threw myself into this story-writing spree and loving every minute of it!

Thank you, muse, for answering my plea. It was nice to have something different, if not unexpected, happen this week, for once.

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