September 24, 2010

On writing well and dreaming

The blank page looms. That's the sensation coursing through my veins every time I sit down to write. Well, at least when writing more than a few sentences. When writing for this blog for sure. It's one of those things called a love/hate relationship. I have that with writing. It's something different from writer's block, although all writers tend to have that on occasion. Maybe part of the problem is over-thinking every sentence, every word choice, and then doubting everything written down. At that point, I'm unwilling to scrap it all and start over, because the effort of reworking my thoughts in another way is too daunting. Or maybe I just lack the patience. It's something to think about. Sometimes just stepping away for a bit helps. Sometimes just powering through and writing as much as possible helps, too, although I inevitably end up entangling myself in the words and am slowed down once again. So, the powering through tactic works only on a rare occasion.

Before sitting down to write, when inspired and all sorts of ideas about what to include in a post spin through my brain, when browsing journals and notebooks, daydreaming about their possible future uses, is when I'm excited about the prospect of putting pen to paper. This is why it's a love/hate thing. Yes, I've briefly blogged about this before, and yes, I'm still thinking about it.

Instead of worrying much about that today (and also instead of posting a recipe), some thoughts and a few links will suffice. Since last Tuesday was the official first day of fall, my mind keeps turning back to what gets me really excited about these fleeting months. It never lasts long enough, much to my dismay every single year, and with the temps rising up into the high 90s this weekend, it seems as though the summer is trying to stretch its bleak arms into my dearly beloved fall, but that won't last long. It just can't. I have plans, plans involving longer strolls, an apple baked something or two, soup that just has to be made with the first butternut squash of the season, more visits to the farmers market, even a trip to the Bay area, and the possible acquisition of a new notebook. All of these things need to be done in fall-like conditions.

I'm always tempted to purchase a notebook or a journal. A browse through a bookstore often leads to a brief sojourn into that small and only section full of blank pages, in-between eyeing the more ample literature, cooking, and travel sections, and ending with a jaunt through the magazine shelves. Have you ever noticed how bookstores don't encourage writing as much as reading? But then again, how much space does a bookstore need to devote to notebooks when you can purchase them just about anywhere and books are, obviously, the profit-makers? Online stores certainly carry a larger selection, but virtual space is more accommodating than physical space. A lined notebook, though, is so enticing. It speaks to what I could write, what I may write, and inspires thoughts of traveling and jotting down thoughts, of sitting on a bench in a park, away from all distractions, with only the handy journal and pencil in hand. Maybe I'm just hoping that buying the real deal, instead of scrambling for loose paper or relying on my laptop, will cause those things to roll into motion. Maybe.

The classic, simple designs draw me in. Nothing bright or flashy, please, but something that can be carried around and accessed easily. Call me practical, even if I dream of owning one of those pricey Moleskine notebooks. They were used by famous artists and writers, you know, most notably Hemingway. At least, that's what people say. Of course, nostalgia also plays a roll, and I sometimes fancy those old-school composition books, with the black marble cardboard covers. You know what I'm talking about: the quintessential American grammar school notebook. They served the purpose, look kind of cool in a retro sort of way, and are inexpensive. If a Moleskine ever makes its way into my hands, though, I'd also want the accompanying city book. So tempting.

Now, this notebook wouldn't be for making lists, however much I find making lists for just about everything very useful. No, this notebook would be for writing. Writing of any kind: journaling, poetry, thoughts, impressions. It'll be something that is serious, something that will actually need to be used, instead of daydreamed about while sitting ominously on my shelf, making its empty presence known every time I walk by. Blank pages tend to do that to me. But perhaps, just perhaps, getting one will inspire me to not fear those pages any more. It will have to be the right one. A good one. One that compels me to use it.

In the meantime, I'd like to point out a few new links I've added to the blog, one from Penguin books, a couple of photography sites, and also a few items on my wishlist, mostly to show my interest in things other than baking. I do have them, you know.

Smash and peas: great tips for amateur photographers.

Vanilla days: awesome black and whites.

The penguin blog: can't beat Penguin books.

Plum colored scarf: I have a thing for scarves and collect them.

Quilted bag: the bag I would like to have for carrying around my dSLR, whenever I get one.

No comments:

Post a Comment