Stephen King’s The Gunslinger begins, “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” Man, what an opening line. (What a great book, too; the first one’s by far my favorite of the Dark Tower series.) I get hung up on beginnings when I’m writing, even the fluffy pop culture stories that aren’t much more than a whiff of personal commentary on a story that’s already been published all over the web. If I can just get the first few sentences out, however crappy they may be, I feel a sense of momentum and I lose that ever-present fear that this time I will finally have run out of words.

Somewhere along the line I lost sight of the fact that this is my personal playground, a place where I can write what I want and it doesn’t have to be formatted, tagged, and summarized in an SEO-friendly linkbaity headline. It doesn’t have to have a perfectly-sized image, the intro paragraph doesn’t have to grab you, the closing line doesn’t have to be a comment-begging question. Best of all, it doesn’t much matter if it gets read or not.

If beginnings are hard, endings are even worse. The fun part, the part that always makes the screen drop open to that place where everything just flows and I get the sense that I’m along for the ride rather than pushing myself along, is right in the middle. Let’s take this place and go there more often.

Comments

25 Responses to “Itch”

  1. Katharine on July 28th, 2014 11:25 am

    Meeeeeeeee tooooooooooo

    (on beginnings, not endings)

  2. Life of a Doctor's Wife on July 28th, 2014 11:33 am

    Yes, to all of it. And, if it helps, I love your writing – always. It’s beautiful and sincere and funny and I don’t care if it’s “about” anything.

  3. Sarah on July 28th, 2014 11:39 am

    More writing here is always welcome!

  4. Deanna on July 28th, 2014 11:53 am

    I’ve missed you here. Funny stories of life, holding up a mirror, honest, funny – *here* is where you can do that. Can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to hug you, roll my eyes (cuz I know you are doing it, too!), laugh or just breathe – all because of words *YOU* strung together.

  5. sooboo on July 28th, 2014 12:17 pm

    The opening line from The Gunslinger runs through my mind periodically too. It’s one of my favorites. I check in here every day, hoping.

  6. LD's Mom on July 28th, 2014 12:27 pm

    We all love your beginnings, middles, and endings – the perfect ones and the imperfect ones alike!

  7. Phoebe on July 28th, 2014 2:39 pm

    I’m not a writer but for me getting started and the resulting momentum is an important ingredient in just about every task I take on, but especially the ones that initially seem daunting. So I get it and I appreciate everything you post here! Please keep doing it if it makes you happy!

  8. Cindy on July 28th, 2014 2:41 pm

    Happy to read you’re going to be posting here more often. I check the page frequently and always smile when you have something new to say!

  9. Donna on July 28th, 2014 3:01 pm

    Yes, let’s! Yay!

  10. Molly on July 28th, 2014 6:57 pm

    You are one of the only bloggers that I check in on regularly. Precisely because you do not worry about clickbait, affiliate links, SEO, and general “building your brand” type stuff. Please write whenever, and about whatever, you want!

  11. Janet on July 28th, 2014 7:03 pm

    YAY! Agree with everyone…you are the ONLY blogger I check on regularly. Write anything…we will eat it up!

  12. Dawn on July 29th, 2014 5:04 am

    I was holding my breath there reading the second paragraph. I thought you were going to say you were ending your blog. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that this isn’t the case. You keep writing, I’ll keep reading.

  13. Melissa on July 29th, 2014 5:27 am

    I’ve missed you! You make me feel normal instead of crazy because so often I read your stuff and think “thank god I’m not the only one!”
    Looks like you’re having a wonderful summer though, so no pressure. :)

  14. Jessica on July 29th, 2014 6:07 am

    I’ll read anything you write. And the irony is, my favorite posts from you are probably the least “polished” – I love your authentic, raw voice. I love that you are willing to talk about stuff other folks shy away from. I am like all of your readers – I feel like I am not alone when I read what you have to say. For however long you want to keep this blog going I’ll be here reading.

  15. Amy on July 29th, 2014 7:03 am

    That is my favorite opening line ever. I think the 4th book is my favorite though. Keep writing so we can keep reading!

  16. Maureen on July 29th, 2014 9:07 am

    I was really happy to read this-you have been one of my favorite bloggers for such a long time. I have missed you posting here!

  17. Aubrey on July 29th, 2014 9:36 am

    I love the 4th book best, but you can’t have the rest of the series without the first! I love reading your writing!

  18. Annie on July 29th, 2014 10:17 am

    Yay for more writing !

  19. kristin on July 29th, 2014 10:53 am

    OKAY!

  20. Faith on July 29th, 2014 11:18 pm

    Amen! I am totally along for the ride.

  21. Kelli on July 30th, 2014 7:11 am

    Yes, this!!!

    Blogs are changing so much these days and so many of my favorites are dropping off from writing all together left and right. You remain very much at the top of my reading pile because of your style, your candid moments, and the fact that you simply write because you love it. (You can tell.) You’re not tied to $ or links or number of hits and I love that. I will keep reading through all the beginnings, middles, and endings!

  22. Kimberly on July 30th, 2014 11:09 am

    So much yes!

  23. Niki on July 30th, 2014 4:47 pm

    Welcome back.

  24. Frema on August 13th, 2014 8:07 pm

    I hear you, sister – my own blog’s been collecting dust since April, for the same reason. Always glad to read a post from you!

  25. Megan on August 28th, 2014 10:57 am

    Love it–your is one of the few blogs that I always get excited about when it pops up in my feedly.

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