Thursday, June 15, 2017

Scratch That Itch

I haven't written any new stories or essays for longer than I'd like to admit but that itch of literature cited in today's poster arrived this morning. 

All of a sudden, I had ideas for two different personal essays swirling in my head like a whirlpool in a rushing brook. I'd been pondering about writing something for a Chicken Soup for the Soul book for several weeks but hadn't been able to come up with a credible topic. As I was reading an essay in a newsletter earlier today, a flash went off, or maybe it was my muse kicking me in the head saying Wake up, Honey! The subject was mine if I wanted to pursue it. And I do!

A few days ago, a younger cousin passed away after a difficult battle with numerous health issues. Something I read in her obituary notice triggered thoughts that would be worth pursuing in a personal essay. A couple of sentences that I might use flitted through the video screen in my mind. I knew I needed to write them down somewhere or they'd be lost. I didn't do it and now, I'm struggling to find them. I think, once I begin writing, that they will come back to me. 

Triggers of this kind create that itch of literature, just as the quote above tells us, the only cure is to write. I do love the phrase nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. Obviously, we don't write as much with a pen now, although some writers still swear they write better in longhand than typing on a keyboard. The majority of us tap, tap away instead of writing with a pen. Even now, the pen is ballpoint and doesn't scratch like those old 'dip in the inkwell' kind. 

That just triggered a memory of grade school desks with inkwells in them where a bottle of ink was placed so that students could easily dip their pens and write with them. We usually wrote with a lead pencil in grade school but occasionally we were given the pens and ink bottles to write something special. I don't think it was often but I do remember the 'scratching' of the pen. A nice sound.

That itch of literature comes over us when we least expect it. When it does, we'd best pay attention and act upon it as soon as possible. Wait a day or two, or more, and it's gone. Sounds so easy but you and I know that life gets in the way of our best intentions. It's up to us to figure out how to work it in. You can do it if you're passionate about your writing. Go ahead and scratch that itch!

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