On Beginning, Again

Thoughts on Writing, to begin

Begin morning pages – writing practice. Set the timer for 15 minutes and just write. After all these years, after reading a stack of books about the craft of writing, after making many pledges to myself and others about picking up my writing again, today I will begin. This is fairly unthreatening – as prescribed by the last book I picked up yesterday, the densest and perhaps most sensible of all of them, though they have all had something good to offer – the instruction is for longhand writing for this, and keyboarding it later, thus putting to rest my indecision about “how” to write. This is how I write. This how I’ve always written. And the fact of the writing environment – the pen, the paper, the notebook – is quite important/not important to me. I’ve built a whole career around the paraphernalia of writing – calligraphy, pens, ink, bookbinding, papers, all things I love. And I won’t be giving them up. They are an important part of who I am, and not just an “easier” substitute for the “real” writing I’ve been running from all these years. But this format – lined school paper and a ballpoint pen – takes me back to the beginning – the nostalgia of school supplies from my youth – and the workmanlike pages I filled when I “became” a writer in college, unconcerned with how it all looked. Though . . . truth be told . . . I took some care with the journals I kept. The Record books from the stationers came in many styles, and I also gathered a collection of beautiful handmade journals and used them, beginning with the one Debbi brought me from Florence with the marbled paper covers. Treasures. But for the nuts and bolts writing assignments, it was this, lined paper filled with hundreds of words, often poured out just like this, to see what came out. Now it is time to begin again and return to writing which is my first and most innate craft, of the many I have done. May my fingers and hands hold up to this new regimen. And may I not falter, keep the faith, and trust my own storytelling voice to carry me through these familiar waters. And now the timer sounds – how pleasing to have reached the end of the page. Tidy.

13 September 2016