Hello, and welcome to Write. Saturday! Today I come to you with words and ideas that have been said and written before, but that bear repeating every so often. At some point in our lives, some, if not all of us will be intimidated by the sight of a blank page, or the glare of an empty screen. We will be plagued by the dreaded phrase, "I don't know what to write!"
Now, I think I have mentioned this before, so please excuse my repetition, but I used to hate writing. Well into adulthood, whenever I had something to write for work or school, I'd sit, slightly panicked, in front of the computer screen, trying to formulate my thoughts. I generally would turn to my husband, Dave, and I'd tell him the long point that I was trying to make, and then I'd say, "So how do I put that into writing?" He would then say, "Just write down what you told me. You can always fix it after." I mumbled, "Thanks," under my breath, and went back to staring at the screen.
Then, one day, I got it. "Oh, I just write down whatever goes through my head, no matter how wordy or messy. I can just write like I talk." What an ingenious idea.When we sit down to write, there is a feeling that we have to compose sentences to sound a certain way, but when we talk, we just talk. And, usually, we make sense. So that is what I started to do.
I still hesitate before I sit down to write my journaling. I find myself procrastinating when it's time to type out the words for a scrapbook page. Cutting and pasting and playing with pretty and shiny bits is more exciting to the senses than typing (at least for me). And, just like there are times when I have a wonderful picture in my head of what a scrapbook layout might look like, and then when I sit down to make it, it doesn't quite work out the way I planned. Writing is like that too. Sometimes I have words floating around in my head, and they sound fabulous there. But when it's time to commit them to paper, it doesn't come together right away.
Still, when that happens, I remember the wise advice of my husband, and I just start to write something. Often, that something turns out to be enough.
If you are starting to feel like my husband must be some saintly genius, I just want to remind you that I am talking about this guy:
I think Neil Gaiman summed it up best (since he kind of has a way with words), and this quote inspired this post.
This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until it is done. It is that easy and that hard.
It also inspired me to make this cute, little tableau that I keep above my desk.