As writers, we are often surprised by ideas and images we generate. Where do they come from? Sometimes it is divine inspiration. Other times it comes from the deep well of memory. Attempting to reach those waters can be frustrating. Or it can be fun. You can’t command memory or inspiration to surface but you can reach out to them. Stretch your arms toward the well. Extend yourself. By reaching toward material you move below the surface and discover the spring.

Today stretch your memory by making a list of “101 Places I’ve Been.” Number your lines ahead of time. Generate the list as quickly as you can; try for fifteen minutes. Write whatever comes to mind even if it doesn’t make sense. Don’t quit until you have 101. What surfaced on your list that surprised you? Explore it.

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of words being there,
written in invisible ink and clamoring to be visible.
-Vladimir Nabokov

from- Room to Write by Bonni Goldberg