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
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God has given you wonderful friends.
I’m thankful you write.
Inspiration at its best!!
You will write a book that is magical, again. Do you not consider that your previous text were magical to the readers who picked them up and devoured your words? They were magical. They were just what the readers needed to read in that moment. So, write on – whether it’s handwritten or click-clacked from keys. The world is waiting for more of your magic. : -)
I just reserved this book at the library. I love getting to get a glimpse of your writing process and your thought process. You always make writing seem magical.
Always enjoy reading your posts. I’m glad you’re going to do some handwritten drafts. I love handwriting my drafts. I know everyone is different, but for me, I really feel the connection to in my writing when I do it by hand vs on the computer. Funny, but true 🙂
Your handwritten draft page is wonderful … keep those hearts coming. 🙂
I like how you speak of fun and magic. And how you create them. I hope that the handwritten draft surprises you with powerful magic.
Ordinary days do seem especially magical when they have been sent topsy turvy in the past few months. There is something beautiful about hand writing something. There is a personalized piece of us in every squiggle. I sometimes wonder what is lost when composing/ editing digitally. On paper we leave tracks of our thinking to revisit, still present despite words crossed out. What will you discover about yourself as a writer when you commit to writing a book in this way? I will venture to say there will be fun and magic. Happy writing!
An inefficient draft kind of sounds to me like the best sort of draft. It strikes me how it is that writing means opening ourselves up in way that allows other voices to drift in. It is a lot of work to be open and handwriting means that you are open wider, longer. That’s how the magic gets in.
I love the way you use the word magical. I love thinking about the parts of the day that were magical and pushing myself to slow down and notice because magic is happening is all around us. Thanks for the reminder 🙂