While I tend to muse on fleetingness and elusive memory, and find an odd satisfaction in not knowing, recording, or understanding, I do believe in Post-its: a thought frozen in time, emerging from somewhere I sometimes don’t recall. Yellow slips of paper stuck to my journal pages. Virtual ones scattered on my desktop. While I maintain this blog, I don’t write regularly and rely on sporadic surges to keep me going. That’s not a bad thing, I guess—it’s just how it is.
But the strange comfort a Post-it brings: it’s nice to come upon a note I’ve written for myself that I knew I would need again. As if I continue to evolve as a writer, yet face the same challenges over and over.
I am reminded that the writing process is not something to conquer.
Below, I’ve collected some of these notes. If you have notes of your own that move you—or quotes you particularly like—feel free to share.
- Don’t write toward a goal. Write to get lost.
- Know, however, when you’ve strayed too far. You can’t rely on fleetingness and fog all the time.
- You’re a good writer. Not great. Remember that.
- Some ideas in your blog queue will never leave the incubator. Deal with it.
- Others have written about [insert subject here] before. Don’t act like you’re the first.
- You have experiences that may offer a new angle. Figure it out.
- Write about yourself. You can step just over the line separating relatable and alienating, but always come back.
- You’re scared about revisiting certain topics, which is good: restraint and subtlety are tools.
- Your past is the most free, accessible source for ideas. Use it.
- Write about what you know, but don’t approach it as if you know everything.
- Stop telling yourself you can’t write scenes. You’re just lazy.
- Don’t bother with big words; don’t try to impress. You don’t talk that way anyway.
- Your voice comes out naturally. Don’t bother it.
- Never post anything you haven’t read out loud many times. Ever.
- If you wake up on your day off and want to write, write all day. The surges are infrequent, you know.
- Your memories shapeshift. This is exciting. Use them creatively.
- If you don’t remember, then write about how you don’t remember. Don’t make it up.
- If you think facts are inconvenient, you lack creativity.
- It’s okay that your blog doesn’t fit a specific category. Just fucking write what you want; your themes will emerge on their own.
- Don’t freak out if you think and feel differently from what you wrote six months ago. Or last week. It’s a good thing you recorded it, then.
- The piece needs to end, but that does not mean you must come to a conclusion.
- Be very careful with the point above.
- You will know when something is done. But that doesn’t mean you won’t write about it again.