Safeguarding the spark

Some people seem to rain sparks. Their ideas come thick and fast, characters emerge fully formed from the flames and entire fiery vistas open in front of them the second they close their eyes.

Not me. I’m a slow burner. Each new idea feels like a long struggle with a tinderbox, a soggy attempt with two stones or a slow alignment of a magnifying glass and the pages of my notebook. And when an idea does catch alight, it’s not guaranteed. It needs careful attendance and nurturing.

I ignore the spark at my peril. If I leave it alone for long enough, I’ll come back to find a small scorch mark that smells of all the cigarettes I’ve decided not to smoke any more.

Feed the spark too much, and it is smothered. It dies off before it has the chance to take hold, and my head is full of smoke and regrets.

A few days, weeks, months of tending this little idea carefully, looking at it from behind shielded eyes, being careful not to let a cold rain of self-doubt touch it, and it might turn into something bigger. If I’m lucky.

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4 responses to “Safeguarding the spark

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