Most of the time, most ideas worth writing about don’t show up fully formed at the precise moment we stare at a blank sheet of paper.
Indeed, if we expect all of our useful, original ideas to show up only after we settle into the chair, we are setting ourselves up for a lot of frustration.
The ideas come at other moments. Our job is to remain curious and attentive, so that we stop for long enough to notice our glimpses of passionate insight, of outraged exasperation or of simple, concise observation.
When these moments occur, we must hold on to them for long enough to write down the feelings we have, the core of the insight, and a few scratches about how the argument will flow.
Once that’s done, the writing boils down to the relatively simpler act of putting words around the thoughts so others can see them too.