Gathering words - Gathering sea shells

Gathering words together to form a story is much like going to the sea shore to gather shells.

The first day out, we gather all our arms can carry, and hold them close lest one slips away.

We aren't at all choosy in the beginning. WE pick up the ragged, the worn, the unfamiliar, the ugly, the beautiful, even the shards. Who knows what can be made of each piece.

A few days or weeks into our journey, we become more selective. Do we really need all that we've gathered, those words, those shells. Maybe? We don't truly know yet what our use is going to be for our stash. We decide to hang onto everything. Wise choice!

I'm in that place right now in my work in progress. Gathering everything to me, afraid to let anything go. Pulling everything out that I can from the inside, the outside, the subconscious, the conscious, the unconscious.

Until I've gathered all I can from the secret places where words come from, and only then, will I allow myself to start sifting through what I have. Weighing, judging, valuing, editing. My treasure trove of words.

There's nothing to match the feeling of creativity as it moves beneath our skin, beneath our fingers, into our souls.

My wish is that you too will take time to gather some words into a story. Or gather some shells for a lamp. Or simply to mark your path along the beach.



  1. What a perfect and lovely analogy. Thank you for this.

  2. I was just about to open my manuscript, and this post makes me eager to dive into it.

  3. Your comments light my path today. I was afraid the post was too introspective.

    As we journey down our individual writing paths, scattering bits of ourselves along the way, let's remember to be kind to ourselves.

    And open to the gifts we each have for the other!


  4. How beautifully written! Enjoy your gift, Barb, because it IS a gift. May you gather many lovely shells today.

  5. Wonderful, Barb. Love your writing! Inspirational and calming. The sea has that way about it.


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