In the Old Testament of the Bible, there is a story where Moses, the leader of the Israelites, is bringing the newly freed slaves through the desert to the Promised Land. Plenty of miracles abound–not the least of which would be the assignment of the Ten Commandments–still, there is much moaning and groaning. Understandably, walking the desert for forty years is going to make you a tad cranky.
To whet the parched mouths of the masses, God commands Moses to tap a rock. Moses strikes it (big difference–like the difference between getting into the Promised Land or not), and the previously dry stones flood the thirsty mouths of God’s people.
Several millenia have passed since those stories were handed down. Whether we believe this story–as a matter or fact or faith–I think we writers can relate. We often feel we’re walking in a desert, dry of ideas. So much moaning and groaning, trying to figure out how to survive the blank Word document.
Only a miracle can end our thirst.
I don’t remember always being like this. When I first began writing, I could remember hitting the buttons on my keyboard so hard that I actually ended up pulling up some of the keys. Everything flowed like a rushing river.
Now I find myself thirsting.
One of the greatest gifts my best friend Connie gave me was a little box card set called the Storymatic. While I can’t say I’ve written any of my greatest pieces because of it, I have written because of it. And some days, that’s more than I can hope for. While there are millions of methods on the market to help pump our creative juices, it always falls to us to figure out how to tap our stories onto our Word documents. Everyone has their method to find the stories that will result in the out-pour of words onto the page.
So tell me: how do you go about finding the stories that speak to you? Where and how do you find inspiration? How do you know when a story is worth following and writing down?
Offer each other a drink. Leave your answers below and show me how you listen for the crash of ocean waves in the rocks.
This is the box set my bestie got me:
Shepherds in the Old Testament often used music to lead their sheep to water, and here are the melodies that lead me to this watering hole: