Since long before Joe came along, I've been making notes about my childhood - jotting down memories and details. I love writing. That's the main reason I keep this blog. Blogging requires a certain amount of discipline and effort so it has to be a pleasure or you just end up letting it tail off.
Over the weekend I decided to make a more concerted effort with my writing. The plan is to write a memoir and a bit of a family history. Yes, I'm maybe a bit young to be doing that but it's not an autobiography. I want to write about growing up, about my childhood. I want Joe to be able to read it when he's older, and to have a knowledge of his grandparents' lives too, and their parents before that.
So yesterday I bit the bullet, ignored the scary blank page facing me and just plunged straight in. No plans (I'm a bit of a one for procrastination), no list-making (another favourite pastime/diversion). I sat with an A4 notebook and a retractable pencil - my weapons of choice - and wrote and wrote and wrote. It just seemed to keep on coming. Time flew. Words flowed.
I'll admit to a little bit of preparation. I made a (secret) Pinterest board with quotes and tips and a few pretty photos of typewriters and so on. Amongst the useful advice were these gems:
"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." (Louis L'Amour).
Read a lot.
"Don't talk about it: write." (Ray Bradbury).
"We write to taste life twice." (Anais Nin).
"Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than grey matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory." (Jack London).
I have an old box filled with little things I wrote as a child - poems, stories, Christmas lists and so on. In that box are some exercise books from primary school detailing what we did on holiday and at weekends. And certificates and Brownie badges and all kinds of tiny scraps of the past. Along with many childhood photos and my still-good memory I'm all set to do this.
Most importantly of all, I'm not following any rules or writing with an audience in mind or feeling the need to impress anyone. I'm enjoying capturing memories and committing them to paper and saving them for Joe, so that one day he'll learn about the adventures, big and small, of his family and the details of our lives.
So each day I'm taking time to just write. I'm loving every second of that time - cup of tea at my side, pencil in my hand. It's precious and important and will eventually produce something meaningful and personal.
P.S. These old photos really make me think about how much Joe looks like me as a toddler!