“Like bees who by instinct go from flower to flower gathering honey, writers, merely by being alive, are constantly gathering ideas and impressions—their honey—which eventually will lodge somewhere in some book….”
I really like this quote. Why? Because it’s so true. Writers are constantly gathering ideas and impressions that eventually will make it into their writing in one form or another.
Reading this quote I was reminded of the morning many years ago when I awoke to hear a chorus of cedar waxwings in the apple tree outside my bedroom window. I looked out to see them frantically eating the apple blossoms, something I’d never seen before. It shouldn’t come as any surprise then, that a similar scene showed up in Bitter, Sweet as I was writing it. It wasn’t anything earth shattering but it fit in well with the story and helped set up for the scene where Jesse shoots the porcupine and they eat it for their supper.
One of the secrets in writing (and there are many) comes from breathing new life into everyday happenings. Look for something new in the familiar. When I wrote that scene about the apple blossoms, by adding the cedar waxwings it gave the scene a whole new look. I wasn’t simply describing the pretty apple blossoms. There was actually something happening.
Some people might think they haven’t experienced enough throughout their lifetime and therefore have nothing to write about that would be of interest to others. In fact I’ve heard that complaint before. “I want to write but I have no idea what” or “My life is boring, who would want to publish anything I wrote?”
But we all have unique life experiences that make up who we are and what’s important to us. We have all experienced, happiness, sorrow and joy. But we experience life through our own eyes. And no two sets of eyes see the same thing, nor do we feel our emotions in the same way as someone else.
When we write, or create in any way, a part of each one of us goes into that creation. I like the thought that my ideas and impressions will eventually lodge somewhere in a book. How about you? Do you agree with what Eleanor Estes says? Does your honey make it into your writing?