Most non-writers have an idea that those of us who love to spend our waking hours sculpting words into something coherent do so because we have special gifts, talents, or connections to higher powers or even that we’re somehow smarter than the average person. While I won’t blow the covers of my creative colleagues, the real truth is that many days, I am not brought to the page by some need to expound but because I simply miss the feeling of writing.
That’s right, friends. We writers & journalers (there is a difference and there is no difference. More on that conundrum in another post) enjoy how writing feels to us. We have found a way to make writer’s block and frustration feel good through our choice of the tactile tools we use when we sit to write. Some of us prefer a number 2 pencil, with a chewed eraser, and steno pads. Others, a fully-filled fountain pen and copy paper. Still others feel compelled to tap thoughts out on a keyboard and see their ideas go from the nebulous abstract to concrete letters on an artificial page.
What matters at this point of writing, the beginning stage, is not what you have to say, how you’ll say it, or who you’ll sell it to, but if you actually find a way to enjoy coming back to the blank page when words fail to come along.
So for this first lesson in writing, your assignment is two-fold. First, spend time thinking about the writing method you prefer, not what such-and-such author does, or what someone else says, or you ‘think’. Choose based on how creating feels, and if you truly don’t know the difference between the options, explore. Write a few sentences about today longhand with a pencil, a pen, a fountain pen, a marker, a crayon. Write lists on lined paper, blank paper, heavyweight paper in journals, notebooks, spiral bound, loose leaf, executive notepads. Type these writings and see how it feels. In order to come back to the page, you need to find the space where you most enjoy spending time.
Second, once you’ve chosen, open to a new page, pull out a fresh leaf, or start a new document and write a paragraph about why you chose this option over the others. Use these questions to guide your thoughts, if you desire:
- What about the feeling, the sensation, the movement and motion and expansion in this combination feels special to you?
- Do you have a prior connection to this mode, perhaps in a class you took, your days in school, or from previous job experience? If so, what was it?
- What about writing in this manner in particular appeals to your senses and invites you in?
- List a few adjectives, adverbs, or descriptive words, about the physical experience of writing in this moment. Is it inspiring, exciting, uplifting, or expansive? Delicious, something to savor, energetic, cathartic, calming? There are never any rights and wrongs, only truths.
Now that you’ve discovered your preferred mode of writing, I’d love to hear what you’ve found! Leave me a note in the comments so we can geek out on writing! Next Friday, we’re going to think through (and possibly create!) your space for writing. See you then!