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Seeds for writing projects Editor's Notes #416
May 08, 2024

I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence.
Under such treatment of course any decent idea folds up its paws, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies.

—Ray Bradbury

In this issue:

1. Seeds for writing projects
2. Tickled my funny bone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1. Seeds for writing projects
I’m sitting in my office that looks out into the backyard that is largely given to food production. This year new raised beds with new soil promise successful harvests to come. The spring season prompted thoughts of seeds for the garden and seeds for writing projects. The result offered here might give your literary endeavours a springtime outlook, specifically a new take on the seeds of writing projects.

I need seeds to get to harvest, and writers need metaphorical seeds, ideas, to get going on a project. In both cases quality and volume count. Old, tired seeds don’t produce bountiful harvests, and hackneyed writing projects don’t hold much appeal to publishers or the reading public. One brilliant idea can launch a blockbuster book that sets a writer up for life. More likely, a number of new and interesting ideas and connections can create a sustaining career as a writer. There is a special thrill for me in self-seeding plants that just keep on giving in my garden. There are writing projects like that, too. Series or other projects that follow seamlessly one after the other.

When I want seeds for my garden, I visit a nursery or one of the local markets where farmers sell produce and, hallelujah, seeds! Less frequently a friend offers me seeds. In any case, I know where to go to get garden seeds.

Where do writers go to get seeds for writing projects? Pretty much anywhere. It’s not so much where you are as how open your mind is as you go about your everyday business. Here are a few places I pick up seeds for writing projects:
  • "The news". Radio, TV, social media, newspaper, and magazines.
  • Overheard conversations
  • Lyrics in popular music
  • Leisure reading
  • Live performances
  • Cookbooks
  • Parties
  • Conversations with friends or strangers
  • Dreams
  • Counselling sessions
  • A journey through personal illness or loss
  • Board games
  • Housework
  • Pursuing hobbies
  • Photo albums
  • Personal journals

Of course this is not an exhaustive list. There is an almost infinite source of seeds for writing projects.

The first task is to practice noticing them. Next comes the skill of choosing which seeds are likely to sprout and mature. Some vegetable seeds do best if they are soaked before planting. To me, these are like the ideas that need to spend some time in an intermediate state to ensure they develop fully. Others, like happy little radishes, just hit the ground and start sprouting.

Whichever types of writing project seeds you find this season, I wish you the joy of bringing a project to its finish.

2. Tickled my funny bone
The city slickers wanted to grow their own food but couldn't get bacon seeds anywhere.

3. Interesting Web site
Wondering what to do with the ideas swirling around you? Here are seven steps to turn at least one of them into a successful writing project.

4. Writing prompt
What are some of the funniest or unusual ideas or experiences you have had related gardening? Write about one or more.

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