In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”
When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?
Call me “old school” (which is really just code for “old”), but I love to put pen to paper – literally – and just write. Don’t get me wrong – I love my smartphone and computer as much as the next person, but I am not ready to live in a paperless world.
I have two journals that I use to write. I like to carry them with me so that I can jot down ideas whenever inspiration strikes. I love to hold them, feel them, flip through the pages. I like to be able to organize my thoughts on the page – scratch things out, draw arrows, write notes in the margin. It just makes me feel like a legit writer.
The purple one is a gift from my older daughter. It contains some journaling and just little snippets of story ideas, poems, phrases, observations, etc. My girls will sometimes steal it and put little notes or drawings in it as well.
The one with the owl is a gift from my friends, Violet and Joanne (hi Violet! hi Joanne! *waves*). Violet is quite creative and she decorated the inside page:
Isn’t it the coolest?! I absolutely adore this journal. The early framework of my first novel will begin here. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, friends… what does your writing process look like? Do you use pen and paper? Is it all digital? Combination of both?
Writing 101: Day 8 – Death to Adverbs
Today’s prompt: Go to a local cafe, park or public place and report on what you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind. Today’s twist: write an adverb-free post.
I marched out of the bookstore and into the bustling main corridor of the mall. People hustled all around me. As I strode to the next store, I saw her.
She wore jeans and a t-shirt and could have been invisible in the crowd. She was not invisible. She danced, arms above her head, hips swaying. She twirled and then waltzed backwards. She spun again. She floated down the hall and back again. Her long, dark hair bounced as she moved. She threw her head back and closed her eyes. She never stopped moving.
Pay It Forward
I walked along the busy street, hustling from one errand to another. I stopped to answer a text when I heard my phone chime. As I set my bags down by the storefront window, I noticed an envelope propped against the glass. It had no writing on it, no postmarks. I looked around, expecting to see its owner nearby. Nada.
I reached for it, an inner debate waging in my mind. Its not yours. What if its important? What if its private? Well, it shouldn’t be out on the street then.
I snatched it up and opened it. A simple note: Smile. You are beautiful. Pay it forward.
I laughed as I put the envelope back on its perch. Challenge accepted. I picked up my bags, ignored that text, and walked on with a new energy. I knew exactly where I needed to go and what I needed to do.
Day 5 prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply and you wish it could be returned to the person to which its addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Be succinct. Use as few words as possible.
Writing 101: Day One… Unlock the Mind
What the hell did I get myself into?
Day one and I already feel like a failure. I feel like the kid in class that comes in after the bell rings, struggling to hold all of her books and then trips trying to sit in her desk as books and other belongings go crashing to the floor. You know, the one that all of the cool kids stare at like they are looking at an alien species. You see, its 10:30 pm and I’m sitting here trying to complete the first day’s assignment of 20 minutes of free writing. I’m already frustrated because I’ve spent 15 minutes trying to get the writing 101 badge on my blog page and its not working. Ugh.
I love to write. Finding the time to write is my biggest problem. I have a day job from 8-5. I commute an hour to work each way. I have two kids, 10 and 5. So when I get home from work, I spend time with them. That is so important to me. After they are tucked away in their beds, I try to unwind. I often get sucked into my phone becoming lost in the neverending vortex of social media… facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest. Time sucks, each of them. I fire up my laptop and head over here. By that time I am usually exhausted. I start to doubt myself. I feel like a poser, a wannabe. I wonder if I am making a mistake by starting to write again. I don’t have time for it and it certainly doesn’t pay the bills. So is it a waste of time? Time is a precious commodity. Should I just quit? But I don’t want to quit. But if I don’t have time to write often (or maybe even write well) then what is the point? What should be the point?
And that brings me to… what are my goals? I don’t even know. I want to be a better writer. I want to connect with other writers for support and feedback. Beyond that, I’m not sure. I would love to be a professional writer. My dream has always been to write a novel. Right now that seems like a pipe dream. Baby steps, I suppose. Everyone starts somewhere, right? I know I should know my target audience but I don’t really. People say to write what you know. I guess I need to figure out what that is. If I write what I know, will people even care? I kind of have an identity crises. Story of my life lately.
So all I can really say is that I am here to be better. I’m not sure what my end game is, not sure where I am going. But improvement is moving forward. And when moving forward things often come into focus.
So now I guess I feel like the slacker kid in the back of the class. The one who sleeps during class or daydreams or doodles on her desk. The one who doesn’t have all the answers. One day at a time. I will find my way, I’m sure.
Day one prompt: 20 minutes of free writing. Don’t think about what you are going to write. Just write.