Good writing is not just about writing well.

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Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

If you want to be a writer, you have to learn to see.

I don’t mean “see” in the traditional sense of the word.

In your mind, you need to clearly see the idea or concept you wish to discuss in your writing, if you are to articulate it for others.

Sometimes inspiration comes to us out of the most ordinary places.

The inspiration is simply a flash — a thought, a look, or a gesture — that draws up emotion you simply cannot ignore.

When inspiration hits, some head straight for their laptops.

I can do that, but I never know what kind of mess will emerge from the wild, thorny jungle that is my brain. (Something half-baked with fifty eyeballs and a beak like a parrot, most likely.)

So I wait. It’s better for me to sock the thought away.

I think on it.

I ruminate.

And I ask myself over and over again, “Why is this important? Why do I think this is important? Will others see it as important?”

When I think I’m finally on top of a good (maybe great) idea, I begin to write.

J.K. Rowling said she “saw” Harry Potter in her head well before she put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard. He was there, in her imagination, just waiting to be let out. All she had to do was bring him to life.

This morning, one of my LinkedIn connections, Kyle Elliott, posed one simple question to his followers: “What makes you fabulous?”

On impulse, I responded, “I look for the good in everything and everyone. I know how to sift the good stuff out and write about it.”

And that’s what inspired this post — six hours later.

Esther Hofknecht Curtis is an independent writer from Smyrna, Delaware. Go to to learn more.

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