SOL2015 -Sit Still And Ideas Will Reveal Themselves

Sometimes we make finding something to write about more arduous than is necessary. I am reminded of the saying- ideas exist in things. I recently read what Children’s author, Andy Griffiths had to say on finding something to write about in his book, 'Once Upon A Slime.'  
I have reproduced his words below. They are worth considering when it comes to finding a suitable focus for a writing piece.
Extract recorded in my notebook

Today, using Andy’s advice I sat quietly in my study and began to focus on what was right in front of me. And  suddenly there it was. An idea waiting to be discovered.

Some might call it a porcelain knick-knack, a trinket or trifle. It is actually all those things. A cheap porcelain dog which has been in my possession for many years. My youngest sister gave it to me for my seventeenth birthday. I’m not sure what possessed her to give a seventeen year old boy such a gift, but she did and I was honour bound to accept it. She even named it for me. She informed me its name was, Alan. Alan the dog it was and Alan the dog it has remained. 
Alan the Dog sits among an assortment of artifacts in my writing space.

That dog has been with me through multiple house moves and two marriages. It has come to signify longevity. Alan the dog is a survivor of sorts. He sits on a shelf in my study and is a link to my family history. I can’t specifically point to why I have kept it. It is just there and that’s about all there is to it. I don’t question it remaining in my possession. It doesn't bark, demand to be fed, or chew my books. 

 It is just there on the shelf having outlived its dog years by several lifetimes. It is an artifact in a broader collection of artifacts that have found a place in the study. Writers are collectors….


  1. Thanks for sharing this great writing quote. I was reading others' blogs hoping to be hit with inspiration and this is just the advice I needed. I also loved reading about your dog. I have so many things around my apartment that I can write about. One might even be post-worthy.

  2. I think we sometimes get so hung up on feeling that we have to write "about the meaningful" that we forget to look for the meaningful right in front of us. Lesson learned. Love that collection you have assembled, Alan - writing ideas all of them!

  3. A great strategy for sure! Interesting gift from your sister, but now a treasured artifact from your life.

  4. Thank you for sharing Alan the dog and the photograph of treasures. I will try this idea tomorrow with what is on my desk. :)

  5. It's true...what is right in front of our eyes is something to write about. People, objects, photos, scenery, pets...ideas are alwaysthere, if we open our eyes and notice.

  6. Alan, thank you for sharing your thoughts on writing and reminding me that I asked teachers to bring in a memento to write about. Although this did not happen because they must have forgotten, I think the exercise is a good one to bring memories to light. I like that your dog reminds you of longevity but it could also be thought of as your perseverance pup.


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