Kathyrn Graves

Taming Birds

Yesterday I watched as a flock of birds swooped across the robin’s egg blue sky over southern Kansas. They flew in arcs and waves, a few here, a bunch there, following the leaders. Each bird soared with its wings spread, looking much the same as the other birds to me. But I knew they were all unique, that God created them as distinct individuals. I rode in a car, and the birds flew across the road. I remained content to watch them wing away.

As I watched, I realized ideas are like a flock of birds. Each idea is unique from the others. They can arrive in bunches and will fly away if we don’t do something to keep them here. If I had stopped the car before the birds arrived and put food in the road, they likely would have landed. Likewise, if I keep a notepad, paper or electronic, with me at all times, I can coax my ideas to land and stay.

Ideas, like birds, are beautiful to watch as they circle and dip overhead. But when we try to catch and tame them, they get messy. Feathers get stuck on our hands and clothes, seed hulls scatter all over our neat house, and we can even get pecked. And the noise. Bird calls in the wild are one thing, but in the house? Deafening.

I think if I could just let my ideas stay ideas, life would be so much easier. Wrestling with an idea to make it into something others can benefit from is just plain hard work. Sometimes even painful. Many ideas need to be released because they refuse to cooperate. But a few turn out to be prize birds.

Writers, like bird-tamers, need to visit with others who do what we do to share tactics and strategies. We can talk about the ones that got away and the ones we had to release after much expended effort. Experts train novices and everyone works with their own ideas. We can even find out what to do with our prize projects so the outside world can enjoy them. This is the mission of Story Writing Studio.

Do you have a flock of ideas that you’ve coaxed into landing? What strategies do you employ to keep them here? Do you have one that got away? Do you have one that sits on your shoulder and sings in your ear every day–but you keep ignoring it in favor of others? Why do you think you ignore it? Could it be time for that bird to sing for others?

Photo/FreeDigitalPhotos.net “Tourist Feeding Bird” by Just2shutter

Kathryn also writes at www.KathrynGraves.blogspot.com on Mondays and Thursdays and at www.KathrynGraves.wordpress.com on Tuesdays and Fridays.


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