Hatching an Idea

RoosterIt was easy to pick out ten fluffy, peeping chicks six weeks ago and tote them home. Now, fully feathered and two-thirds the size of fully grown chickens, they need more food and water–and space. My husband and I are finishing up a chicken run to go with the chicken coop. It’s all pretty fun, and it’s work, too.

It’s like writing a story. An idea comes along, vying for my attention. I’m smitten. I’m intrigued. I take the idea home. But unless I nurture that idea and give it room to grow–it will fade away.

This month, I’m starting a new novel, a sequel to my young adult novel, Frozen. Like downy feathers on a light breeze, I have ideas floating around in my head. But now the work begins. I must sit down and carve out time each day to develop the ideas into something more, something that sets characters down in a specific time and place in history, with specific challenges to face … and that means I must enlarge the space in my life to grow this story. For me, that means giving this story 3-4 hours a day of actual writing. And when I’m not writing, it means reading and researching. And when I’m doing other things, like enclosing a run with poultry wire, it means my subconscious is working.

With regular care and attention—showing up every day—I’ll finish another novel. The task seems daunting, but I’ll look to my fast-growing chickens for inspiration.