Writing About Writing

Cappuccinos are required to write in Italy 

Cappuccinos are required to write in Italy 

Writing is easy. We can all make shapes into letters that become words in sentences. It's easy to live your life and once in awhile jot some clever thing down with your new favorite pen. Look guys, I'm journaling!

Writing regularly is hard. The routine of writing words that become paragraphs that tell a story is really hard. No is listening to your story. No one is reading your words. You write for some invisible future person who you hope will gasp at how beautiful your story is and the intimacy in which you shared it. You also hope you are alive so you can hear this praise, but if invisibile future person hates your story then he best shut up.   

If you really think about it writing is totally insane.

For the past seven months I've been experimenting with writing routines. In the mornings every day, or every other day or only on the weekends, or only during the week, sometimes at my home or at a cafe. I've written when I have absolutely nothing to spit up but garbage and I've written when I was struck in the face by a brilliant idea in my bed or on the subway.

For a person who hates routine I've been pretty good about writing regularly sometimes transferring notes from paper to a computer and other times composing directly on a screen (like right now!). For the next month I'm trying something new and leaving my computer at home. 

I'm bringing a fat blank notebook to Italy to write with blue Muji pens every day. I say "every day" but if I skip a day I will forgive myself, which I've learned is harder than writing itself. 

Will my thoughts be different as I express then with a pen moving across a page while my other hand holds the notebook steady? Will I feel more complete as I watch my thoughts move from my brain into permanent things on a page? 

Some people say that the brain processes the world differently when you handwrite. Some say it's better than typing. Those same people lament the demise of cursive as part of the elementary school curriculum. Others say cursive is fancy nonsense for lazy people (maybe it's only me who says that).

I don't know. I both need paper and screens in my life as much I need a routine change now and then. I'm excited for a mini-break from this blog, from work, from the tap-tap-tap sound.

What comes out on the other side will be stories for my invisible future person who could be you.