My answer to the slog
The first thing I ever remember writing is a story about a princess. I must have been five or six at the time. I worked really hard on it, writing my words carefully into one of those tiny hardcover notebooks that were popular back in the 90s. The ones whose covers were always wrinkly. Writing more than just a few words on each page was a heroic feat in my little eyes, between the thickness of my pencil lead (I wouldn’t dare use a pen, they were for grown-ups) and my clunky kid writing. But I was determined to write.
I finally finished the story, and I was so excited to share it. It was wintertime, and we were waiting to pick up my dad from work. I was sitting in the front seat, next to my mom, and the car felt muggy and uncomfortable, as I sweated under my winter coat.
But that wasn’t going to stop me! I proudly pulled the little notebook from my pocket and read my story. I had to ad-lib a bit because the pencil had rubbed off, but my Mom was delighted. She asked to see my work and happily handed it over. I remember her smile as she carefully flipped the tiny pages. When she was done, she look at me earnestly.
“Linden,” she said, “you don’t have to put a line between each word. You can just leave a space,”
I think every writer has a story about their blossoming love of writing. It’s a rite of passage. But if you can’t think of one right off the top of your head, don’t fret. There’s a reason you picked up a pen (or pencil, or crayon, or keyboard, etc.) and didn’t put it back down. Did somebody encourage you? Did you discover something about yourself?
Sometimes, when I’m feeling the pressure of my writing schedule, I take a break and reflect on the time that kept me writing, starting with that little notebook full of a story about a princess, and a kind mother who didn’t laugh at my simple mistake.
So, what’s your origin story?
This is my current favorite notebook. I also like to bullet journal and draw and paint, so the thick pages are perfect, the marker pad lets me use the alcohol markets without bleeding through four pages. Great for illustrating my writing or just to write in! (Not an affiliate link, I just really like it!)
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