OLDIE BUT GOODIE: Tea Parties – Letting Ideas Overflow

NOTE:  The release of GOODNIGHT, ARK has been pushed back to the end of the month due to a delay in the shipment process. The new on-sale date will be August 26th. In the meantime, I’ve completely exhausted myself getting ready and so now I find time to BREATHE!  I plan to have a quiet, replenishing week ahead, catching up on reading, playing around with a few words, dabbling in the garden.  I’m taking a little blog break for the week, as well, and hope you enjoy this post from two summers ago.  And, yes, my daughter still loves tea parties!

My daughter loves tea parties. She throws one at most play dates and even has her own tea set. I’ve learned from experience, however, that it’s best to serve tea either outside on a quilt or, if inside, within the confines of a large steep-sided tray. Why, you wonder? Well, when my darling daughter and her dear little friends pour their tea, it inevitably overflows, cascading over cups, filling saucers, soaking napkins, spoons, even cookies and fruit.

I don’t like messes, but I squelch my urge to intervene because I know they love these tea parties just as much as I loved them when I was a girl. Okay, I confess, I substitute water for tea because it’s not sticky and it won’t stain, but I let them pour to their little hearts’ content.

Like tea, poems and stories sometimes pour out of me as well. This outpouring usually occurs at the most inconvenient times -when I’m cooking, or in the middle of the night. But when it does, I grab the nearest paper and pen so I can catch every word and phrase. I don’t worry about getting words down perfectly or using complete sentences. I just write down the idea that’s pouring out as fast as I can. I erase nothing!

It hasn’t always been this way, however. When I first started writing for children, my critical inner voice often interfered. Indeed, it has taken years of conscious self-training not to let my inner editor hijack early-stage writing projects. Letting go of the inner editor during these bursts of creativity is well worth it because it’s much easier to revise and flip and develop a story when you start with a full cup – or tray- of tea.

What about you? Are you sometimes a teapot of creativity, or do ideas come to you in other ways? And what do you do to squelch that inner editor?

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6 thoughts on “OLDIE BUT GOODIE: Tea Parties – Letting Ideas Overflow

  1. Glad you can have some rest, Laura! Enjoy! Great post! I only have like 1 idea come to me at a time. I’ve heard some people have a whole plot ignite like fire. Wish I could be like them.

  2. Glad you can take a breath Laura, but I have to say I was looking forward to having your book in my hands this week. Oh well, a late August delivery will be just as exciting!
    I do write down ideas as soon as I get them. And sometimes they’re overflowing 🙂 But, my inner editor makes it hard for me to push through a first draft. I
    write, stop and revise
    write, stop and revise
    etc.
    I haven’t found a tried and true way to squelch my inner editor…I’m working on it though!

  3. A teapot suits me as a metaphor for the process. Lovely. My cup-o’tea… 😉
    My inner-editor is being reminded that there is nothing to criticize if nothing is written, so hush until I get it out there.

  4. Laura, so sorry about the delay for the release, but happy to hear that you are taking some time to breathe! Enjoy! My creativity bursts come and go. I find that when I’m in the brainstorming stage, the teapot definitely does overflow though, and it can get overwhelming. Still learning to trust the process. 🙂

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