A few months back, I watched a two-part documentary on Woody Allen. I feel like watching it again because I know there are bits that I missed–what can I say, I like Woody, he’s a highly talented and prolific writer, and he makes me laugh. The part in the movie that plays over and over in my head, though, is when he’s sitting on his bed, going through a box of his writing snippets, just pieces of paper, maybe a napkin or two, and as he goes through his box of collected ideas, he remembers and tells us about them and which one’s eventually grew from those snippets into something bigger. What also stuck out is that everyone loved working with him. And he seemed to have an instinct for how to bring out the best in the actors working for him, which translated onto camera.

Woody’s box of ideas reminded me of how important it is for creative’s, no matter what medium they work in, to write their ideas down. But not just to write them down, to go back, to flip through, thumb through–to sift out the ideas that can be worked on and brought to life.

I have snippets, collected ideas scribbled in many notebooks, half-thoughts jotted on several devices in the notes App, full drafts that need attention before bringing to the page.

Now, the sifting must begin.


My second-favorite quote of the year speaks to that feeling inside of us that stops us from being who we are or doing what we love:

“It’s never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise.”
–Nancy Thayer