Posted by: cmegge00 | February 28, 2012

Blank Pages by Carol J. Megge

Hello again.  How’s your philosophy today?  Have you got reasons and rationale for everything you do?  Or do you just do what you’ve always done?  Are you right-brained or left-brained?  Somewhere in between?  Aren’t we all somewhere in between?  Well, most of us.  Did you write today?

It’s a decision, you know, a choice you make, even if you’re not too well organized or not feeling too creative.  We all start out life as blank pages, and gradually fill them in with decisions and actions.  One of my first memories is of my father telling my mother that I was a bit clumsy.  No matter that my mother disagreed.  From that day on I was clumsy.  Because that’s what I decided.  It colored my future decisions, and decided a certain portion of my life.  I made myself into a sportsless person by believing I was clumsy.  You’ll be happy to know that later in life I found a sport not involving balls (skiing), and actually became somewhat proficient at it.  Again, I made a decision at the age of 35 that I was capable of learning a sport.  Every moment of our lives we make decisions of who we are and what we do.

I remember my first blank page.  Do you remember yours?  I was 16, and I wanted to tell how I felt about snow, how I went out and played in it in my pajamas and bare feet.  Nobody in the house knew I was outside at midnight in the snow in my bare feet.  Such freedom!  I didn’t want to share it with anyone else.  I just wanted to keep that feeling.  So I put it in a poem.  I still read it at least once a year.  I’ve never published it.  But it was a point at which I made some decisions about myself that made my life.  That blank page…

I had to decide that I wanted to write the feelings.  I decided to tell it like a story.  I decided on the first stanza.  I decided on the first word.  When the pencil hit the paper the decisions were already made and the words flowed out.  The words didn’t change my life, but the decisions did.  When I wrote my first novel, I stared at that blank page for two hours, making decisions about plot, about the first chapter, about the first sentence, all before I put one word on the paper.

How do you do it?  I admire the people who are “pantsers”, who can just decide to write and start, not having the faintest idea of where the writing is going.  How do you do it?

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Responses

  1. Hi Mom,

    I do it because Ideas come into my head and they refuse to leave until I write them or experience flashes of insanity. Or maybe it’s flashes of reality vs. nonreality. I know the difference between reality and nonreality, of course, but the draw to dive into unreality is a powerful thing.

    Love you,
    Kathy

    • Ahhh! Of course! Writing is escape, even more than reading. It explains how it seems that sometimes there are no decisions to make before you write. Writing can be a compelling force, a drug that owns you, instead of something you decide to do.

  2. Hey, how come I never heard the barefoot in the snow story until now?

    • Because that was the moment I began to grow up and know that the choices were all mine. Love you back, Mom


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