pen and paperInk on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we? — Audra Foveo-Alba

I love words on the page. What’s more, I love words on the page that I’ve put there. I like watching the letters form on the screen, the click of the computer keys, the very satisfying increase of my word counter. Yes, I watch my word count while I work. When things are going well, it’s encouragement to do just ten more words, or see if I can round the total count up. When things aren’t going so well, it reminds me that I can’t just get up and walk away because there are words to write. I love ink on paper as well, seeing the lines fill up on a page. The only reason I don’t write more by hand is because my mind almost invariably runs faster than my pen. And you then have to retype things into your computer. I was an admin for too many years; I hate having to retype things.

These are the tools of our trade. We scribble on the back of napkins, receipts, in the margins of printouts, sticky note, little files on our computers, delightfully organized indexes…if our mind runs that way. We are writers. We write. Sometimes the way is hard and our goal impossible to obtain, but if we just put one word on the page, then another, and another, it’s amazing how quickly they add up. If you let your mind go and trust the words, it’s amazing sometimes what flows from your fingers or pen.

Five more days, including a four day weekend for many of us here in the United States. “Family,” I hear you cry. “Committments!” Be selfish. Once everyone’s fed, take five minutes, ten minutes, just for yourself. Get away from the madness for just a little while and let yourself be whisked back into the world of your story. Set a timer if things are really tight, but take the time for yourself. You’ll have added to your word count and you’ll feel better for the breather. Gird your loins, we’re almost there.

And if you’re traveling this weekend, be safe. You still have much to compose.