Thoughts rumble around in my head like rocks. Boulders, stones, pebbles. They’re rough ideas, starter concepts and floating phrases. And I can hear them crashing, crunching and bumping into each other. This is the beginning of my writing process.

The longer they rumble, the louder they get. So the real and necessary work for me is to dump all those noisy rocks out as fast as I can to get a good look at them.

You’ve seen and heard someone dumping rocks. There’s nothing calm, neat or precise about it. No truck dumps one rock at a time. They still knock around and rumble all the way out. They hit the ground, roll away from each other and sometimes break apart. The debris flies. The dust lingers in the air.

Then it begins to settle. It’s still a big-ass pile of rocks.

But I know what I’ve got to work with.

How do you begin your creative process? What’s the main thing that prevents you from “dumping out your rocks?”