If you are available to listen to others and not interrupt, you will find a write-worthy story to share. The older I get the more I realize the truth of this. But the requirement is your willingness to suspend your solitaire or candy crush game or thoughts about what you’ll be preparing, and turn to the person sitting next to you wherever you might be: bus, waiting room, a queue at the local coffee shop. A simple “hello” and introduction may stimulate your creative processes in a different direction. You might be astounded.
Many years ago I took a woman from church to an eye doctor appointment. Her time with the doctor included many steps that left me sitting in the waiting room. While there I struck up a conversation with a woman I’d never met. We began with “excuse me,” as I accidentally bumped her leg retrieving a magazine. Then we chatted about the articles mentioned on the front cover. I asked her a few innocent and nonintrusive questions about her scrapbooking, and, an hour later, she relayed a horrific story about her son’s murder.
I’m not going to give you all the details; I do want to encourage you writers to take a small risk when sitting with a stranger. You’ll be a safe harbor for someone to tell you about his or her life travails. And— you might have a new idea to weave into your imagination.
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