Finding a place to begin

Nike was smart when they launched their campaign admonishing those of us who sit far too long on our ever-expanding rear ends to “Just do It.”  But when you’re someone who is more inclined to first think, then talk about what you are thinking about — like writing — then think about writing before you actually write anything,  clearly those words have no effect.  None.

I haven’t “Done It” yet.  In other words, I’m still getting warmed up to the idea of possibly thinking about wanting to write something.  Not just anything, but the piece I am supposed to write.

The problem is twofold.  On second thought, it’s got quite a few more folds than two. Tenfold might be more accurate.  I have no excuse for this.  It’s pathetic.

And so when I find myself in this particular situation, I review what I know.  I mull over every detail and experience much like one might sort through an old recipe box, thinking about what is on each card instead of pulling one out, and actually cooking and serving it for dinner.

I could go back through the books I’ve used in the past whose authors have helped me sort out my thoughts.  People like Zinsser and Lamott, or Goldberg or E.B. White, because they force me to think about what I’m not doing. But I’d have to have something, anything, to work with before I’m compelled to pick up one of those books again.  Otherwise, it’s no different than reading travelogues and never traveling, or buying yet another cookbook when never intending to cook.

Somehow in my wandering today, I came across Vonnegut and his take on style.  I’d not seen it before, and I read it through several times acknowledging his advice, but thinking more about his writing.  I read parts of it aloud, as I often do when something is written just right, needing to hear the cadence of words as each works with another.  Then I considered the advice.

One thing was missing.

Find a place to begin.  And therein lies the rub.

Since it’s not a dark and stormy night, I’m taking myself out into the sun that has finally decided to grace us with its presence to sit and read something well-written, take a few notes, and find a place to begin while I’m distracted by green bugs in the vicinity.


6 responses to “Finding a place to begin”

  1. before i even read todays post i wanna share this link with you….

    it will kinda makes you glad you only suffered the momentary indignancies you did over there,,, huh????

    ok now on to the post….

    i was suffering thru the same doldrums with my writing… that is why i say shit,, i am gonna write about what i am thinking about so much that i cant seem to think pf anything to write about… and so i did… and i am finding i am not only able to write my days installment,, but i am a couple of days ahead on it… go figure…

  2. Okay, so that was beyond gross paisley. Ewww. Worse than fleas. As far as the writing goes, I can write about anything at any given moment. The problem I’ve been avoiding is writing about THE thing I’ve been wanting to write FOREVER. It’s depressing and dark, and ugh. I just cringe when I think of it. I’m tempted to write about it in a flip manner, but who knows. The “story” exists. I haven’t committed to how it should be told.
    Which sucks.

  3. Jennifer

    Deciding whether to sell or fix up is a difficult decision, especially in this market :-). The bonus of fix up right now, is that you get to enjoy it, you’re not just doing it to sell the place.

    I started reading your blog and just love all the pictures from Italy! That is my dream trip. Maybe one day when the kids are grown and gone…..

    I noticed your having a flea issue. I hate the chemical solutions as well. I read in a book that you can use essential oils to rid the area of fleas. The book I consider a green homekeeping bible is Green This by Deirdre Imus. She has info in there about it. Hope it helps…

  4. Hi Jennifer — you are so right about getting to enjoy what we fix. I’d love to be able to do that. When I think about starting all over again (for the 3rd time) it’s a bit overwhelming.

    And thanks for enjoying what I put up here. It matters quite a bit.

    As far as Italy goes, find a way to go without waiting so long. When there’s a will…right?

    I’ll check out Green This. It sound very interesting!

  5. “I’m still getting warmed up to the idea of possibly thinking about wanting to write something. Not just anything, but the piece I am supposed to write.”

    It will come all on its own, and then you wont be able to stop!!

  6. Yep, I know, meleah. It’s happened before and I actually made it to page 90. And then my life changed. I’m not even sure that I have a hard copy of the manuscript any more. I do have the story in my head, of course, and feel like I actually knew the woman whose story I was telling.

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