Are You Open To Serendipity?

by Kimberly A. Cook         (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Research is fun for writers. Or it could be. It depends on what we’re looking for and why. Given the time of year, pouring over tax info is not at the top of my list. What is really fun for writers is noticing a pattern which turns into an idea by serendipity or coincidence. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines serendipity as “the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.”

USS Pampanito Museum in San Francisco Bay on July 29, 2008. Photo by Kimberly A. Cook

The universe speaks to writers with ideas, occasionally flashes of brilliance, but mostly with small clues. We notice a topic and then later it pops up again. Now with our radar up, more details or connections emerge and we get curious. Another reason writers and cats are so closely acquainted; curiosity.

My rule of three, look into something when I notice a topic three times, can turn into exploration with the most amazing results. This happened recently. Seems my military writing muse decided there was a vacuum in my writing workload. I’ve just finished the critique of a former student’s book about serving in Vietnam plus I am writing/editing three of my books. But before I can get my student’s book critique mailed off, another possible story surfaces. Literally.

Details and patterns are emerging about World War II submarines.  Now I don’t write about World War II, so this is doubly intriguing. But I am following the trail of clues, including the above photo I happened to snap in 2008, because my muse is quite curious about how this story unfolds. There is energy in the path. Right now it’s a mystery, but story vibes are present.

We writers must be open to going down a road we said we would not travel, when something pulls us toward a story.  I think our muse’s like to mess with us, but the beckoning of an important story waiting to be discovered can be like a siren call from the sea. Be open to a story calling your name to come explore.  Are you open to an unknown writing journey?

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