For many years, I jumped out of bed at four in the morning in order to have time to write. I could never write after work or at night. By the time I made dinner, cleaned the kitchen and washed a couple of loads of laundry, I was too tired to even contemplate doing one more thing.
But the early morning time was different. Refreshed, I filled many pages in my journals and in my documents folder on my desktop computer. Some pages were filled with bittersweet memories of my youth and others were filled with sections of a book that never really made it past the 15th chapter. Some pages were filled with human-interest stories for newspaper columns and others were filled with the trials and tribulations of daily life. And some pages were simply filled with doodles, thoughts and ideas. But I smiled and laughed and cried through it all and watched others do the same thing, too. I wrote, and shared, a lot. People liked my writing because they could relate.
But then my writing got sidelined by never-ending work, family matters, new grandchildren, and–Oh Lord, of all things–that damned-addicting, online bulletin board Pinterest. So, before I knew it, the flow of words that once coursed through my brain uninhibited by praise or criticism slowed down to a trickle. And, since I’m not a journalist or author by trade, and there wasn’t a deadline to make my fingers reach for a pen or keyboard to open the spigot again, almost a decade passed by unrecorded.
It’s funny in a not ha-ha type of way that now it takes a deadline to motivate me, but that’s what it took to get me up at four in the morning for the last five days. I simply asked a friend to read my first draft and said I would have it finished by the end of day. It also helped that I read a quote last week that made me pause in thought, “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts,” says Anne Lamott, “You need to start somewhere.”
Start somewhere, indeed.