Curiosity Killed the Cat, NOT the Writer: by Drema Drudge

Guest post by Drema Drudge, Writer

Am I the only one who wants to break out in hives when I hear "curiosity killed the cat"? It's a phrase used to keep people, usually children, from asking questions. One of the gifts my mother gave me that I treasure most is curiosity. Some may call it nosiness, but I call it the path to inspiration.

I'm puzzled when someone claims to feel "uninspired." Inspiration is everywhere. Looking around my writing room I see dozens of half ideas that could be tweaked into stories. For instance, there is a wedding veil I bought at a thrift shop. Who wore it, or maybe didn't wear it? Why not?

I see a wall full of vintage hats above me, each with a story under its brim.

While most people don't decorate with art calendar pages, my walls are filled with them, and because I frequently write about art, any of them could be a writing prompt for me. Whether I chose to write about what I see on the small square, or whether I chose to research the artist and write about her or him, either way, with a little curiosity and invention, story possibilities abound.

When you're driving today, notice someone walking down the street. See how they move their arms? Would you know them again by their body language? What is it saying? Why might it be saying that? What's an alternative explanation for, say, their limp?

Making up stories is how we make sense of our lives, whether we are writers or not. Curiosity is another sense for a writer to employ, and a valuable one.

Get curious. Stay curious. Ask "nosy" questions of the items (not the people) around you. They're not likely to punch you in the nose if you get too personal the way people will. If you're feeling brave, you can ask others any question you want. Just be prepared to duck if necessary.

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