Sunday, August 26, 2018

I Feel This Obligation to Write

Dawn in my little camp trailer, tea and notebook.
I feel this obligation to write--another novel, a book of essays, a field guide--to be like Faulkner, Emerson, Lewis and Clark. I'm ignoring this sense of obligation, though. When I began writing at the age of sixteen in my ruled, spiral notebook, I was writing for the pure joy of it. That's what I need now, to just enjoy the flow of words.

This joy of words is central--joy is important. It is essential. Publishing in my notebook, three blogs (apply as needed), and some online interaction with folks who are interested in what has my attention right now is just what I need.

Not just the joy of words, but especially the flow of words. Fluency is not just a matter of expertise but also of engagement--not practice, but rather momentum. Use that writing muscle, flex it, stretch it, and then I start feeling like I'm in shape again. My writing stamina increases . . . and probably enough of this metaphor, even though it seems apt.

I've found my daybook an excellent writing activity for me because I can use it at odd times when away from the computer--early in the morning or during a break when going for a bicycle ride. I don't need to set up the office. Also, I really enjoy pasting in photos that relate to my entries. I write only of the right side of the notebook, when I open up two blank pages facing me. The left side (or backside of the page) I save for taping photos, receipts, or instructions from purchases. It gives the notebook this kind of "untamed" look--nothing is exempt and, consequently, the notebook is already beginning to have this overstuffed look. I'll have to find a large rubber band soon. I order photos online from my phone/camera, and then when they arrive, I slap them in. Of course, there's the incentive of making sure that I have something written about the photos I have ordered.

Out of this fluency will flow larger projects, more formal ones, I hope. For the moment, I'll just follow the joy, toss words onto the page like a literary Johnny Appleseed. It's spring, and I'm mud-luscious.


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