Ancient History?

I have a Roman coin that looks surprisingly bright. It’s pure silver and was found in a treasure hoard. It is the equivalent of two days’ pay for an average Roman worker. I use it in my ancient world class. I think about the person who buried their treasure. Why did they never come back for the coins? Perhaps they died of an illness before they could come back.

And yet…what if there were a far bigger story behind this trove? With plenty of intrigue, action, and high stakes? Sometimes, we write to entertain—first ourselves, then someone else. Deep down, though, I suspect it’s to make some sense out of the incomprehensible. I saw Terry Pratchett’s last few tweets, and he was telling a story, albeit a short one, to make sense of the biggest mystery of all—death.

So, I can only encourage you, especially if your last week was as hectic as mine, to take a few minutes. Order your thoughts and jot some of it down. Perhaps the conflicts or situations might work well in your current fiction? Don’t let your stories be like that Roman coin–set aside, out of circulation, and doing no one any good whatsoever. Sure, it’s shiny and bright. But that coin never got to experience its full usefulness and is now a relic in a desk drawer.

Never stop writing. Never stop dreaming. And what you think is ancient history might very well be a new beginning. What can you rediscover this week?

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