A Rock to the Head

IMG_0639Photo by Ellen Blum Barish

“I became a writer when I was hit on the head with a rock,” writes Karen Bender in “The Accidental Writer,” an essay in today’s New York Times Book Review. “There was blood everywhere,” she writes. “They actually had to move the birthday cake so it wouldn’t get bloody. That was one of the first lines I remember, that perception, and I remember saying it later with a mixture of wonder and pride.” She needed that observation – that first sentence – to give her a way to spin it. “..to make the sloppiness of the experience somehow my own.”

I love the idea of a rock to the head as writing prompt. A rock is a wonderful metaphor: sculpt one or put several together and you can make art.

What got you writing way back when? When did you stop and linger over just the right words?

You can read Bender’s essay here.