The first serious poem I ever wrote was in a spiral ring binder. This binder contained all of my first serious poems. Some of them have made it onto the early posts of this blog. My voice as a writer, my inner voice, was discovered as a middle school student under the tutelage of the late Ellen Kort’s.
Ellen was the state poet laureate at the time and was well traveled as a poet and authority on writing. I didn’t know her this way at first through. She was very grandmotherly as a woman, in the best, kind and calming way. At the same time her voice carried an authority that helped cut through the overthinking noise or moaning blankness that can come to mind when one first starts writing. She is the one who helped me discover my voice and I will forever appreciate her for it.
My first notebook was opened in her workshop, it has those first lines. It also has the salty tears of adolescent angst, long dehydrated but somehow infused with the lead.
When I lost that notebook several years later I couldn’t write for about a year and a half or more. I wrote assignments, including for some writing classes I later took with Ellen but other than keeping a journal I couldn’t get myself to write poems anymore. I couldn’t move past the sentimental sense of loss. I confessed this feeling of loss with my world literature teacher and she interrupted my doldrum with words something like this, maybe we were supposed to have this conversation and the reason is because you are supposed to write again. And so I began to write again and esteem myself as a writer. Writing is my art, I would think to myself in those days and I say about myself now.
Loosing my notebook was one reason I fell out of writing for a time. There have been countless others, university study loads, moving across the world, depression, and bad time management. But its time to fall back in. I am supposed to write again.
In order to cultivate this resettling into regular writing I will write 500 words a day for a month. That’s my goal, simply stated.
Sometime after waking my body after a pre-dawn run in the woods, I will write for about twenty to thirty minutes each morning before work. If this fails I can write as soon as I finish work. Prompts will aid me in setting aside the content of what to write about and center on my theme to “just write.” The immediate focus is habit building more so than the content of the writing.
If I succeed towards this end I will also accomplish a sub-goal which is to be blogging more consistently. Once this is set in a more perpetual motion I can think about more ambitious projects such as starting a book or short story or thematic writing about mission or the spiritual life.