Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to write and had so much to say about life and about the world and about her life. Her words were light and always gave insight (to at least herself—and often to others reading). Sometimes her words were playful. Other times, serious. But they were always there…Offering her bits of understanding and bits of humor, making the pieces of her life tie together and offering others the same.
One day, after a year of many sadnesses and extreme busyness, the words seemed to go away. Gratitudes still existed. But stories and essays and poems, often on the tip of her pen and always in her mind went away. Became dormant. And writing as she knew it stopped.
She accepted that there is a rhythm to life and with that a rhythm to words on a page, so except for a few words in a morning journal and a few gratitudes at night her writing stopped. For a while, she hoped. The words were beneath the surface. Awaiting. She thought that but wasn’t sure. What if they were gone?
About a year passed, with rarely a word written or a word shared. Winter came with mountains of piled high snow and sub-zero degree temperatures. A time when waiting happens. A time when life continues under the surface. And her words continued to sleep.
Yet, March was just around the corner. Spring not quite ready for arrival but awaiting. She knew this. She knew that words were invited. Still she said, “I don’t have anything to say. The words aren’t there.”
But the space was and the invitation was. For the last several years this writer wrote every day during the month of March, sharing her words and reading others. And the time was almost upon her again. Yet her words were buried under the snow. Her idea mill empty.
She assumed for the months preceding that March would come and go and her words would remain unreleased. Her presence devoid. Then she woke one morning, and with sun streaming on her as she sat in her chair, writing her obligatory morning pages she wondered…what if. The doubts crept in. “I don’t have a bank of ideas.” “I don’t have things to offer, to say.” “I don’t have the writing space or time.” All true for her.
Yet, the what if lingered. What if...
What if she used this dormancy to not need to write about any thing big?
What if she used the time for practice rather than perfection?
What if she chose to, on her busiest days carve out only five minutes to share a few words?
What if the practice itself was what would help the words go from underground to fruition?
The work seemed daunting. The challenge inviting. And the slate empty going in.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for teachers and teachers of literacy to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.