“Why don’t you write?” I inquired.
“I really wouldn’t know start,” replied Sir Corithius.
I know the feeling. I haven’t known where to start for, well, forever. In many cases I didn't know where to start because I didn't know the end (hang with me here).
“For me,” Robert Frost wrote, “the initial delight is the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew… I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is a discovery.”
Is that a Moleskine?
A discovery. I like that.
On the way to work the next morning -- on my usual and predictable route -- I ran into roadblock due to a water main break, forcing us to detour into unfamiliar territory. The new route took me past more than a few Wow, I didn’t know that was there places.
Writing is like that. If you feel that your route must be mapped out exactly before you begin, you’ll never begin. And if you do begin, you’ll often be so frustrated with the detours that you’ll just abandon the journey. Robert Frost is not only giving us permission to start the journey without of map, he’s encouraging it. Most writing works best when the ordinary goes askew, forcing us to wander off course.
My Freshman 101 English professor was fond of saying “Writing is mind traveling, destination unknown” (actually, he stole that from our text book Writers Inc.). He demanded that we keep journals and start writing everyday; encouraging us to enjoy the detours (hell, even take some on your own), and realize that in the journey a “destination” will appear, perhaps faintly at first (a spark, a nudge, a broken water main), but eventually a clearer focus and form will emerge.
So, what’s the lesson of the broken water main? Do some mind traveling, destination unknown, and start writing. Allow your mind to travel freely and you’re sure to discover something new and amazing -- something worth writing about.
And then, of course, share it at a place where you’re free to create without judgment; your "discovery" bursting out and overflowing across its pages.
That place would be here!
Sir Bowie “this post has finally reached a dead-end (not that roundabouts are dead-ends)…
Sir Bowie "Recalculating. Reclaculating.” of Greenbriar
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost