"When She is Beginning to Write"*

I spent a lot of years "beginning to write." I  purchased endless reams of paper--from plain white to yellow legal pads to pretty floral stationery. ** I  bought journals from the dollar store and ordered leather portfolios from catalogs. I've got  manila folders, accordion files, colored index cards and several sizes of sticky notes. My desk drawers are filled with gel pens, ball point pens, erasable pens, disposable fountain pens, highlighters, mechanical and wooden pencils, and erasers of every size and hue. I have a desktop, a laptop, and a wide assortment of USB sticks. (And then there's that giant erasable white board with a set of multi-colored markers that seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

But each time I sat down to begin to write, that's all it was--a beginning. A few short stories, some scribbled poems, plans for a novel that never fully materialized. And when I couldn't sustain the attempt, I just bought more writing paraphernalia. As if a packet of colored index cards could somehow replace diligence, or a new green fountain pen were a substitute for inspiration. I know better now. Because when I finally committed to being a writer, it came down to just me and a keyboard. And time. And sweat. And lots of disappointment, and doubts that crept in like a dark fog. Followed by more time and sweat. And finally, the exhilaration of  three hundred pages emerging from my printer faster than I could stack them up. I still prowl the aisles at Staples. (I never met a gel pen I didn't like.) But all the sticky notes and colored index cards in the store won't make me a writer. Only I can do that.

♥ ♥ ♥

*William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing **Many thanks to the awesome design team at Waxcreative for the virtual equivalent of pretty paper!