For me, it starts with something that catches my attention, nothing big usually, just the seed of an idea, but something interesting, or confusing, or intriguing enough to rouse me from the quotidian and bring me to my desk.
I try a few lines. A few more. I make a couple of notes. Hey, how’s this for a working title?
I go away. I do other things, get some distance, water, fertilize, dig around, understand the concept more fully, and feeling feisty, feeling hopeful, come back and write a little more.
And if the idea still holds up—
1. a concept worth telling
2. a discrete, single thought
3. an interesting way to go it
—I bang out a first draft.
Refine, delete, stake, feed, rearrange, revise, pick off the bugs.
But here’s what I never anticipate and what surprises me still. Over time, it continues to gain weight. Readers check in. Tweets accumulate. Comments. Pingbacks. Trackbacks. Rankings. Mention. Lists.
I might be done and even long done, but that little blog post keeps growing. That’s the wonder of the written word: it takes on a life of its own.