Day 18: Writing from snippets

Rain or Sun!

I am sitting in my car on the top of a parking building. There are trees peering over the top edge of the lot with bright yellow leaves. The rain and sun exchange places every few minutes.One creating a quiet glow of fall color. The other making loud droplets of rain on the hood of the car.

The wind is gentle and cool but no hint of the harsh cold that will be here in a few weeks. We are blessed with glorious autumn weather. These are the days that make Minnesota a place you want to live. There are comfortable day temperatures with cooling nights -perfect for sleeping.


These two paragraphs were written a couple of falls ago – a blog post started but never finished. Not sure what happened but I found it in my drafts file today. What a lovely beginning to a piece. It helps me remember why I live in this state. It also reminds me as a writer to save even the little scraps of writing.

It is so easy to start then throw away little bits of writing. So often they seem like just a group of words going no where. I have been delighted that many of these little snips can get turned into lovely posts years later.

The last two posts I did (The Lunch Box Series) were also sitting in my drafts file with a title and three or four phrases –  no sentence, no paragraphs just a few quick notes to remind me of a memory I had. Those place holders were started two years ago before the March Challenge. They were a back up in case I ran out of things to write about. I never used them last year.

This year they had an appeal as I reviewed them and so I wrote the posts.

This is the time in a month long writing challenge that it is great to go back into the writing notebooks, or the draft files and see what is lurking there.

Now is when it gets hard. We have written for 17 days. The ideas begin to repeat themselves and we wonder do we have more to write. The voice in our head says – “I can’t write about one more snow storm and the plants in the basement are not growing fast enough to share another post. I have nothing to say. There is nothing new happening in my life so what am I to do!!???”                                ** see note below

This is where those little scraps of paper, the writing journal, notes from workshops or books on how to write come in really handy. Take a few minutes today to review some of those notes, draft files and hand written pieces. You will be surprised what you find there. Your writing muscle is activated and now those few words will be ripe for picking through and using to start a new post. Enjoy the treasure hunt for words and ideas!

Happy Writing for the next few weeks! download.jpg


**    (Thinking the plants are slow growing and nothing to say – there is new news –  garden update is the tomato plants have sprouted under the lights!  more on that this week. See there are posts hiding all over the place.)





About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in blogging, journals, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Day 18: Writing from snippets

  1. Amy Rudd says:

    I like the idea of thinking how there are posts growing all over the place. It is true. They are everywhere. I think I spend more time noticing and wondering as a result of the slice of life.
    Thank you for remind us to capture the small notes and then circle back around to those draft pieces.

  2. I like your inspirational post to help us all keep going during this month long challenge. Luckily, I have not been at a loss for what to write about. I also am in the habit of keeping drafts…and have about 120 pieces started right on my WordPress blog page that I review on a routine basis. Occasionally, I will drag something out of that folder for a post. Like you, many are not much more than a word, or phrase or link to some URL that stimulated an idea for me. I hope your piece gets read by many and helps those who are becoming stuck at the thought of what to write about on yet another day in March!

    • Joanne Toft says:

      Thanks – I love that you have so many draft posts – I have most of mine in a notebook but am beginning to use my files on my blog as the place holder. It is so easy to view and then work from there. Happy Writing!

  3. arjeha says:

    Those saved snippets definitely come handy on days when you can’t think of something to write about. They become hidden gems.

  4. mbhmaine says:

    I like the idea of finding treasures in my notebooks and my online drafts. It’s so nice to know there are potential “gems” (thanks, arjeha!) available. I was able to polish one up for a post earlier this month and hopefully I’ll find another one or two. I have over 100 drafts on my blog, in various condition, but mostly similar to yours–phrases or a picture to capture an idea. Those snippets can be great starting places. Happy writing!

  5. This is wonderful advice! I have not been inspired by the ideas I’ve collected to write about, but I bet I WOULD be inspired if I revisited snippets of my old writing. I usually finish the month strong, but there are some days in the upper teens and low 20s where I really struggle. I’m going to take your advice!

  6. LDietrichPF says:

    Some awesome writing ideas! I have an old writer’s notebook I may revisit…

  7. Stacey Taylor says:

    What a great idea to keep your writing ideas as drafts. I will have to try that as I am finding myself in bit of a rut right now. An old snippet would be wonderful right now.

  8. Natasha says:

    This was a good post to read today! I’m struggling to get myself to sit down to write, and these lines of yours made me realize why: “The ideas begin to repeat themselves and we wonder do we have more to write. The voice in our head says – “I can’t write about one more snow storm and the plants in the basement are not growing fast enough to share another post. I have nothing to say. There is nothing new happening in my life so what am I to do!!???” Thanks for the inspiration to push on through!

  9. Elana Waugh says:

    There are times that I start out a post only to abandon it because it doesn’t feel right. I always save them though and come back to them when it’s time. I am glad you saved yours.

  10. Trina Haase says:

    This was the perfect post to read for me. I didn’t think that I would make it to Day 17… and I realize that I have so many more days to slice about – it’s overwhelming thinking about where to go next! Thank you for sharing this important post!

  11. cvarsalona says:

    It’s wonderful going into your notebook to find snippets to think about. Inspiration is all over.

  12. macrush53 says:

    How fun to go through notebooks and find those snippets to rework or reread. We’re more than half through. Woohoo!

  13. karpenglish says:

    This is a great reminder to really stretch our minds and creativity on those hard to write days. I love finding random things in my drafts folder!

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