have a little fun: writers edition
When I was a kid, I loved unicorns. I collected unicorn figurines, even though it wasn’t the rage, and I would have given anything to have owned a unicorn shirt. I’ve been thinking about unicorns and the way they’ve given me a bent toward being open to magic.
Thanks to the #sosmagic community, I’ve been attuning to the magic in my corner of the world and discovering my life is laced with enchantment. It always has been, which is why this mug has been an excellent addition to my morning routine.
On Mondays, at lunch time, I’ve been writing in the park with a new friend. The routine is simple. We have a subject (last Monday it was repairs) and then I set my timer for 10 minutes. We write until the timer rings. Then we do it again, another subject (mashed potatoes), another ten minutes. Write. We read aloud with no expectations for suggestions. We just say what we remember hearing from the writing. Last week her writing choked me up, and I wasn’t ready to read aloud the things I wrote about repairs.
Instead I said, “I’m thinking about handwriting a draft, but it seems kinda silly to me.” I showed her a little moleskine notebook I’ve been using to collect possible leads. I’ve handwritten five different leads to a memoir-ish book I’m toying with writing. I was quiet and shy as I explained the thing that has been tugging at my writer soul.
She thought about it and soon pointed out that it sounds like something that would be encouraged by Big Magic, a book we both have read. “Do you usually handwrite drafts?” she asked.
I wrinkled my nose, “Never,” I said. “It’s so inefficient and slow.” Then I laughed. “Why does it matter if it’s slow? I’m not in a hurry,” I said more to myself than to her.
It’s true. I’m not in a hurry to write. I’m willing myself to be unhurried, because that’s when I can catch the magic. I’m remembering the fun of writing, the way words wiggle. They make me smile when wiggling happens.
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” Elizabeth Gilbert wrote those words in Big Magic. I read them, and then picked up this notebook.
This notebook arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago from a friend who is an endless encouragement to me. When it fell out of the package into my hands, I knew it was the place to handwrite a draft, but I felt so silly for even contemplating a plan to handwrite a draft.
Holding it now, I wondered what I had to lose in starting a handwritten draft. My minds was blank. There was nothing to lose.
I could gain a revolution in my heart.
I started writing for no other reason than for the fun of it. The next day a new book arrived in the mail. The same friend had mentioned it, and I dropped it into my Amazon cart and clicked “buy now” without stopping to think. I was surprised when I opened the box and found a memoir waiting for me. I started reading it. I sent a text to some friends about it. They started reading it, too.
This made me throw all caution to the wind and read read read with wild abandonment of all other responsibilities. It is uncharacteristic of me to read this way, and yet is very much a part of my history to read this way. I finished the book; it was satisfying.
It was fun to read…even the parts that were not fun.
I want to write a book that is magical. Everyone has the potential of finding magic in the ordinary days. Ordinary days aren’t easy days, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t magical. I can think of no better way to write than just for the fun of what might be unlocked in a handwritten draft.
I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic