I’m literally two hours and sixteen minutes away from crapping up my first day of 2020. But I didn’t! I’m here. Staring at the blank screen filled with a big block of white waiting for me to type glorious words into it.

That part is not likely to happen.

Glorious is not on today’s menu. But done. Achieved. Fulfillment of promise to self. And that was what I could not let go of for another year.

I have wanted to be a writer… to be writing daily for most of my life. There have definitely been bouts of productivity. Pre-school. College. And now… I and Divine willing.

My word/mantra for this year in fact is “Give Voice.” Not publish or educate or declare or write. Just give some things a little attention. Give them a few words. Baby steps.

Part of my baby-stepping will be morning pages in my notebook and leaning on a great book – A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie and using her weekly prompts for these Wednesday sessions. These are not big bold strokes that will cover the canvas of my author aspirations but they get me on the pages again.

They get these fingers moving again along with my mind … back into practice, back in their own kind of concerto, their own dance of rhythm and sweat. Believe me, there is sweat and heavy breathing. I mean we are getting over a weeklong bout of flu in the house… ha ha ha. Ha.

But I did come to this page and did not let this first day close on my goal unfinished. Promising sign for this new decade.

So the prompt, the actual assignment du jour.

What is your own metaphor for fear of writing that first line?

I am standing, small and unsure, on the diving board. Not the ten-feet-in-the-air variety. No, it is only the common diving board of everyday common swimming pools. That easy one footer which is not so easy at all. I’m so close to that blue water. But a million questions hold me there in the limbo of “jumping in” to my writing. Will it be too cold? Will I freeze? What if I jump in and in my usual grace maybe actually knock my head and get woozy and just drown? What if it’s not refreshing? Feels all chemical-like against my skin… what if it burns and ruins my desire to ever “dive in” to writing again? Is today really the day to be standing on this board ready to attempt this particular “jump?”

And on it can go. That’s when I need not the whiny kid – are you gonna jump or what? If not get off! – who is really the inner critic disguised like Ben from second grade in red trunks – but I need the swim instructor. Already down there in the warm. She looks like my swim coach from 7th grade – blond, sweet, so happy – It’s great water today, Jen. You’re going to jump beautifully and love it. You’ll want to stay in all afternoon writing away. Your creative mind is going to truly enjoy it. So come on – join me!

Note to self: find beautiful swimming pool image for bulletin board and remember to enjoy self.