Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Writing by Hand

My daughter is so sweet and thoughtful. When back to school shopping she insisted on buying me a journal. Out of the blue!

She brought me over to the journal section in the book store and asked which one I liked. I thought she was getting one for herself.
"Well you have to pick honey, it's up to you", I said. 
She said, "No I want you to pick!" 
"Why?" I asked. 
"Well, I want to get one for you", she said. 
I was confused. "Uh, why?" Why did I need a journal??? 
She said, "For you to write in. You want to start writing, Mom, so this will help you. It will help you write, you can put quotes in there too, and get your ideas down."
I mumble...and say "But I write on the computer"....and she rolls her eyes.
She continues, with a hint of disappointment "I thought sometimes I could write quotes in there too, and you can bring this with you anywhere, and it's pretty isn't it?" 

writing nook
photo: Raige Creations
 I thought, "This girl knows more than I do." She has it all figured out, and here I am lost as ever. Duh me. So, she bought it, and I agreed that this would be a great step to help me reach my goals of bettering my writing so someday that will be part of my livelihood.

But here I am, just looking at it. I created a little writing nook, with a great plant and my little jellie to keep me company.....and at first I just couldn't bear to write in it. It is so pretty, and I have plenty of dumb thoughts, and I say things the wrong way. I make mistakes. A lot. 

Writing on the computer does have it's limitations to be sure, but it is how I began my true writing journey, and I am having a tough time with this new venue for my thoughts. On the computer, it is easy to hit delete, and the evidence of your mistakes are gone forever. Pen on a page, you can only cross out, leaving it right there for you to see every time you open the book again. 

I look blankly at it, with pen in hand, and stare. I don't know what to write.

First Words on Paper
photo: Raige Creations
The action of pen in hand, pen writing on paper, it is said, sparks creativity, makes you a better writer, and even keeps your brain sharp as you get older.  

All great motivations to handwrite. So I give it a try. It feels pretty good. The flow of ink, the beauty of handwriting. When we are writing on paper, thoughts of all kinds flow, the feel of it is completely different than typing on the computer. I notice what my writing looks like, and sometimes I forget what I am writing because I am studying the look of it so much. But the flow is lovely.

Page 1
Life in Fortune Cookies

(a future book of mine)
photo: Raige Creations
Even though I am just writing fortune cookie quotes at the moment, it excites me in a very scary way to think about my own thoughts on paper. It is intimidating, it is strange. 

Now, if I can just write something of my own. If I can get past the fear of writing on paper, where all silly sentences are there to be seen, where tangents are strewn about, where bad writing it bound to be, maybe something great will make its way there too.

But that is the process I guess. My daughter knows. She seems to have it figured out, and she wants to see me succeed. I don't want to let her down. (see 3rd fortune down) And I want to grow as a writer, maybe publish a book someday. This is one of the steps along the path towards my goal. So tomorrow I will write something all my own, even as I compile pieces of a future book I already have planned.

Do you have a handwritten journal? Was it hard for you to start? And when did it start getting easier??


  1. Oh great idea Raige! I'm convinced a a writer, my earlier novels took less drafts because I wrote the first draft by hand -- it forces you to slow down and think. But to loosen yourself up try either stream-of-consciousness or just describing as a scene a moment of your day; just as you did here about shopping with your daughter. But slow that down too. Add descriptions as to what she was wearing, other people in the store etc. So the reader can visualize the moment along with you. An old exercise I used to give to my writing students of all levels:)

  2. Thanks so much Sandra! I think that is a great tip, slowing down and describing a scene of the day. I need improvement in that area for sure, and usually I am in a rush typing, so don't do as much detail as I should. Sometimes I feel like my posts are too long tho, so hold back a little. But perhaps that is not the thing to do. Handwriting should help me expand my writing.

    You used to teach writing? I want to find a class around here, to help me, but I am afraid of that too. ;) Ever consider an online course?

  3. I really wish that I could sign up to get comment notifications. Oiy... I've been going back and reading through old posts and comments.

    Anyway... I had to comment on this one... I have two or three beautiful journals and I know exactly what it's like to be scared to write in it! I started putting poetry in one. Seemed like it worked better, and then I got a still-pretty but slightly less intimidating one that I started personal journaling in. Baby steps!

  4. hmmm. I gotta figure out how to add that so you get comment notifications. sorry.

    I am still working on writing in that journal. I am so thanks for all your comments.


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