I was having lunch with a friend the other day, and she said she’d heard that the universe sometimes gifts us with ideas, and if we don’t act on them, it pulls the idea and gives it to someone else.

I startled when she shared this. How many times have I thought of something, told my husband I should do it, sat on the idea, and then cursed when someone else beat me to it? It’s happened with stories, products, even letters to the editor.

I don’t begrudge the universe for snatching back its ideas. I know we have to keep things moving. But I wish it understood that sometimes there’s a right time and a wrong time for artists to produce.

For example, I told my friend there is an essay I’ve been dying to write for two years.

“Why don’t you just do it?” she said.

“It’s not the right time,” I explained.

“Not the right time for you to write it or publish it?”

“Write it,” I said. “I just know.”

“What are you waiting for?”

“Sometimes I’m waiting for my life experience to catch up to what I want to say. Sometimes I’m waiting for more knowledge in that area. Sometimes I’m waiting for the right amount of passion. But I know if I write it too soon, I’ll do a half-ass job. Better to let it percolate till it’s ready. I don’t just want to get it down, I want it to be good!”

So, if the universe is listening, I’d like to ask that you have a little more confidence in us and a little more patience. If you want to see our best work, trust us. We aren’t always dropping the ball. Sometimes there is purpose behind our procrastination. Please don’t take our ideas too soon. We’ll know when the time is right.