Z for short

"To write more, write more." This is my writing notepad.

Catching the light bulb moments

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Who stole my words?

Writing prompt: Describe a recent Aha! moment. What sparked it?

In Donald Duck magazines, a light bulb appears over a character’s head when they get a brilliant idea. Theorists define an aha moment as “an instant at which the solution to a problem becomes clear.” Others of us simply say, “It just popped into my head.”

Aha moments come in all sizes. There are mind-changing moments, for instance when people realize that their Emperor has nothing on and they stop cheering him and start wondering What ever did we see in him?

There are other defining moments that bring people together during natural disasters, or during rescue missions to bring astronauts safely back to Earth or trapped miners back to the surface. These are moments that touch us and show us what we can be.

Most of all, there are people like Mandela and Tutu and King who have educated us with their words and made us better citizens.

Although not close to those proportions, I do have my moments. Take my writing, for example. When a story suddenly falls into place as the last unexpected line pops out of my fingertips and I know that the story is complete, there is a near-aha-experience. Maybe not of a light bulb magnitude, but I’m delighted and astonished every time it happens, and I can’t stop smiling.

Have you ever suddenly sat up in the bed in the middle of the night, thinking Yes! I’ve got it! Everything seems so clear, and the words are written for you, commas and all. You’re so sure that you’ll remember everything in the morning, but the minute you wake up, it’s all poof gone. The word thieves have been at it again and stolen your words. It usually happens between 3AM and 8AM.

The words are delivered in wholesale Aha! packages of ideas or images that are filtered and reveal themselves to you word by word, sentence by sentence, much like “a Christmas basket with assorted contents: fruits, chocolates, smoked salmon, cheese and salty crackers,” to quote myself. It’s all a matter of catching a package as it travels by in search for a writer.

One day I’ll catch the big one.


Written by Solveig Hansen

January 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm

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