The pristine journals are beautiful, inspiring, arty, and full of possibility. I have received many of these notebooks to inspire me and prompt me to write, a validation my vocation as a writer is a worthy pursuit.
Pictured are gifts from friends. The one in the background was a surprise gift brought to my front door at a time when I had “quit” writing. It was a thoughtful gift to inspire me to keep penning and remind me of the value of poetry and prose. I received the one in the foreground at my book launch party, it a ribbon of accomplishment, a celebration of those 75,000 words bound in my first published book.
The ugly work-in-progress truth.
My current project is a big mess! Note cards, legal pads (pink, yellow, and white), composition notebooks, binders, folders, sketch pads, markers, and that’s just on the desk. On the computer are jpegs of character composites and settings, One Note files, research PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, several word docs containing some of the forty-eight original poems that will accompany the novel, and The One Main Word Document, sadly shy on word and page count.
The blank, fresh sheets intimidate me rather than inspire me. I need color and mess. I need legal sheets that easily tear and can be crumpled before being tossed in the general direction of the waste paper basket. I take comfort in the clutter.
I apologize to Laurie and Sharon for keeping those pages blank. I do love them, and keep them as pure treasures. Someday, I may feel focused enough to be able to just write directly on the beautifully bound pages, confident in the worth of my words straight from thought to page. Until then, I can rest assured no one will publish my work posthumously, as it would be impossible to interrupt.
In case you are wondering, my novel in progress has a working title: “Poetic License.” Of course, there is a legal pad sheet with a list of at least twenty alternatives — was that a pink or yellow sheet and where did I file it?