I’m honored to welcome Leah Singer to What I Saw this week. I hope you’ll enjoy her guest post and the visual and metaphorical tale she’s spun below.
I live in Southern California where the weather is nice about 90 percent of the year (tough life; I know). During the months of March and April, however, we were hit with rain and some hail, followed by beautiful, bright sunny mornings. It was on one of these days that I made a discovery in the sky that also led to a discovery about my writing.
Like every typical morning weekday, I was driving to work sipping my coffee and listening to NPR. I looked up in the sky and immediately pulled my car safely to the side of the road. There above me was a gorgeous rainbow stretched across the sky. I’d never seen a rainbow this close before and never one as large as this one appeared. I grabbed my camera (which I just happened to bring with me that day), hopped out of the car and snapped a few shots of this incredible sight.
What struck me about this experience is that you never really know what unexpected, beautiful aspect of nature you will see on a given day. To me, this started as an ordinary day, driving to work as usual. But then – what I saw – was amazing, beautiful, inspiring. I was glad I had my camera with me to capture (as best I could) the moment.
I then thought about how this experience directly relates to how I come up with writing topics. My writing process is not formal. Nearly all the pieces I write are inspired by some random thought or observation, and just come to me out of nowhere, and when I’m least expecting it – like the rainbow in the sky.
An example: I wrote a post on my blog titled A Coke Girl in a Pepsi World where I talk about my feelings of being an outsider and different among a world of “sames.” What I love about this piece, however, is how the idea came to me. I was opening the office refrigerator at work to chill my Diet Coke when I noticed the fridge was full of Pepsi cans. I placed my soda in the fridge and walked back to my office, when I thought to myself: I’m the only Coke among all the Pepsi; kind of like my life story. And THAT’S when the writing moment struck me. The blog title quickly appeared in my mind and I immediately had to jot down my thoughts. (Given I was at work, the actual post writing came at home that night.)
But that process – that discovery of something completely out of the blue – is what fuels my writing. I love that something in nature, such as a rainbow, can be such a great metaphor for my writing process.
What inspires you to write? Have you ever encountered something in nature that triggered words on a page?
By day, Leah Singer is a freelance writer, as well as a speechwriter and communications professional for the largest university in San Diego, Calif. By night, Leah blogs about family, motherhood, traditions, cooking, photography, her crazy animal family, and other such topics at Leah’s Thoughts. Blogging is a way for Leah to journal, share ideas, essays, musings, frustrations, recipes, funny stories, and – most importantly – exercise her lifelong passion for writing.