Why I started to Write

Odd things can happen in your 60s. I feel like that kind of yucca pant that blooms once a century or a prehistoric seed given the right environment germinates and starts to growwhy-i-started-to-write. All of a sudden this last year I felt like I had to write. It started out with an occasional poem, then frequent poems to some short essays to now a blog. Probably what has contributed to this perfect set of conditions is now seeing more time behind me than before me- the need to document my experience on this planet. Then there’s the fact that this winter in Oregon has been so cold I cannot seem to motivated to work out in a ceramics studio that is heated only by space heaters. I needed a creative outlet. Whatever the reason, here I am, a writer.

In the past, I have written for classes & have kept a journal. But write for the sake of writing at 4 AM? Years ago I would have shut my eyes, pulled up the covers and waited for the impulse to pass. Experience has told me though, that unless I heed my heart, its whispering will become shouting and that ultimately leads to unrest and irritability.

This is the start of my writing journey. It’s surprisingly one of the most grounding things I have ever undertaken. I have benefited greatly from the writings of others. Now I have opened myself up to critical eyes but also to those that will benefit as well. It’s worth the risk.

You Just Start

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You just start.

There is no perfect time.

You are weary of an idea pursuing you & tugging on your soul, so rather than run harder you stop in your tracks, turn around, shake your idea’s hand & say, OK.  I will give you 15 minutes of my day NOW.  No running out & buying a new pen, notebook, paintbrush, canvas, computer or whatever distraction you may deem necessary.  Just sit down & give you & your idea a chance to know each other better.

Lao Tzu,  an ancient Chinese mystic once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”So true, but what he neglected to say was that first step is the hardest of the entire journey.  On the flip side, it is the most liberating.  Your 15-minute appointment with your idea will probably extend to an hour.  Then you can hardly wait for the next one.  Congratulations- you are on your way.

This scenario is exactly how this blog started on a beat-up legal pad  I scrounged from a drawer in my desk.  I was ultimately tackled with the idea that I needed to share my stories of life on my creative path, often a lonely one.  Hopefully, it can help you, dear reader, on yours.  In the process, I had to thumb my nose at my greatest nemesis, perfection, and just start.  This is my first step.