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Pen, or pencil?

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The writing part of writing can be the hardest part. You may already have books, poems, essays, songs, or articles under your belt, or not. You may have a thousand awesome ideas, or none. You may have encouragement, time, food, warmth, and supplies, or nothing. It doesn't seem to matter. Getting started is a journey unto itself.

The best way to begin, of course, is to begin. As Stephen King says in On Writing, "If you can't or won't (write), it's time for you to close the book and do something else." (Italics mine.) And Margaret Atwood told us "A word after a word after a word is power." Using your power in writing is intimidating, even if it isn't a superpower - just a regular human writing about regular things - you can bring something forth that another human relates to, that touches someone in a dark or soft or soulful place. One word after one word after one word makes a difference.

"every flutter of fear seemed to increase that supernatural power that bore her on," wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Obviously she wasn't writing this about us, but her words are immortal (superhuman) because they absolutely can be felt deeply, darkly, soulfully. My words may not ring as deeply, or as darkly, but at the midway point of NaNoWrimo 2019, and still many (many!) days behind, I remind myself - and all of us - that we simply need to put the words down, to lay them down like our sleeping babes and know that they will somehow grow, in spite - or because - of our own steps forward.

Andy Lee

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