There are few things more inspiring or intimidating than a blank page for a writer. Recently, I’ve found myself on the intimidating side of that spectrum. It’s not due to a shortage of ideas. I have countless drafts and a meandering train of thoughts to back me up on that claim.
For me, the hold-up lies in that final determination on whether it’s worth sharing. This is why I’ve started trying a different approach.
Instead of starting my writing process starring at a blinking cursor and that great void beyond it, I start with a pen and paper. In many ways, these two starting lines are the same; however, the end result is anything but.
Barring tracked changes, the final product on the screen shows very little of the work and struggle it took to get there. It’s clean, sterile, and pristine.
The hand-written page, on the other hand, tells a very different story. Already at this point, I’ve crossed out phrases and rearranged thoughts. Certain letters and words jump off the page, emboldened by my retracing as I seek some clarity on the next words. The margins contain diverting doodles, products of my desperate final attempts at productive procrastination before finally etching words onto the page.
It’s not clean or perfect, but it shows the journey.
Even as I near the conclusion of this final digital record, I have a tangible reminder of the work it took to get here. It may not be perfect, even now, but that does not mean it isn’t worth sharing.
Be Kind. Be Brave. Stay Awkward.