Do you remember the good ol' days before computers? Nothing intimidated me more than cranking a fresh sheet of paper into the typewriter at the start of a new writing project. I'd stare at that unadulterated page and hope against hope that the letters...then words...then complete thoughts...that formed as I typed would texture my fiction world with an artistic splash of contrast and color rather than sullying the 8.5x11 virgin field.
Some of those first-word jitters eased ever so slightly when the computer age ushered in push-button deletions. But the sight of a blank page/computer screen, and the thought of needing to fill scores of similar blank pages in order to complete an understandable (and hopefully entertaining) story, would all but give me permanent brain freeze. There's nothing quite so intimidating as the first step of ANY long or challenging journey.
And there's nothing quite so thrilling. . .and unsettling. . .as typing The End.
Frankly, each time I've finished a book, after the initial Wahoooos and Snoopy dancing, I found myself adrift and wondering What now? What's next?
Yesterday, our family wahooed and Snoopy-danced as Courtney, our youngest of five, walked across the stage at Case Western Reserve University's convocation center to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. We celebrated the end of a long and successful education-journey for Courtney.
Today, I imagine she's feeling a little adrift at the idea of closing the door on a successful college career and taking that first step into the work-a-day world. My mother-prayer today is that Courtney takes plenty of time to savor her successes before she cranks that virgin sheet into her typewriter and types "My Future" on the title page.