I have always been a reader. I mean, I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t read all the time. Lately, describing to friends what I mean when I say that I was unschooled, I’ll often say that instead of going to school I grew up in the library.

I find that good writing makes it look like fun to write and I’ve always thought that I’d like to write more than I do… which is why I’m participating in this blogathon. Mind you, I don’t feel guilty about the writing I don’t do. Thomas Lynch (undertaker, essayist, poet. Read him if you haven’t yet!) says that he writes because he doesn’t drink or play golf. I don’t drink or play golf, but I do play the piano and bass and poker and Go, and I garden, and I get most of my ideas out in conversation.

And yet, writing looks like so much fun! I read a lot, and I’ve always had a particular fondness for books about writing. Partly because I’m fascinated by a peek backstage, so to speak, of any craft — how do you do what you do? How do you make it look so easy? — and partly because I’ve always figured that some day I’ll write more myself and I’d do well to pay attention to what others have to say about the process.

Today, Amanda Chambers’ post reminded me of something Ray Bradbury said somewhere about ideas. He’d worried when he was younger that he would one day run out of ideas, that some day his well would run dry, but eventually he realized he’d been using the wrong metaphor. That actually, ideas come from something like a rain barrel. Unless you take the dipper and make more space in the barrel, there won’t be room for any new ideas the next time it rains. And (in Bradbury’s experience) there will always be more rain.

Alright, I need to go get ready to play some music so I have to be done writing for today. Next week, instead of spending all my mornings moving furniture and taking snapshots of kids’ costumes I’ll be stationed at a computer. I hope that means we get more thoughtful writing from me — more dipping from my own rain barrel.

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