I love a new notebook. Have I mentioned this before? I get really excited–unreasonably excited–by a fresh, clean, untouched notebook. I’ve felt this way for, well, forever. I know I’m not alone in my passion for empty pages. I guess I open a new notebook with the expectation that I will craft the greatest novel of all time or finally perfect the Shakespearean sonnet rhyme-scheme. Or at the very least, I’ll make an awesome to-do list that actually gets done. Imagine.
This blue beauty actually belongs to my three-year-old son, and I am proud to say that he is pretty excited about it. We’ve been having writing time after lunch. He makes big, happy swirls on his pages while I’m working on some brainstorming in my hot pink composition book. (Does it get any better than a composition book? Truly?) Some time this summer, I realized something exciting and scary: the itch to write has returned. Now, don’t let me lead you to believe that I stopped enjoying the written work. No, no. But to be honest, seven years later, I am still recovering from MFA burn-out. The tremendous pressure of the whole MFA atmosphere left me to question (again and again) the role I want writing to play in my life. I do not have an answer, but I do know that I want to be more deliberate about including writing in my life–giving it value, giving it time. If my life were a pie chart, the nifty little wedge for “writing” would be just a bit bigger than microscopic…at least lately. It would be bigger than, say, computing statistical proofs, but it would not be as big as doing laundry or picking up socks or changing diapers. Laundry must continue to be done. Diapers certainly need to be changed, but I want writing to show up on the chart.
I want to do more than just-about-weekly blogging and more than e-mailing. What role will writing play in my life? If the writing wedge in my hypothetical pie chart grows, which portion will necessarily shrink? Not laundry. I need to think about this, and then I need to do more than think. I need to do. I need to write.