Is there anything more wonderful than beginnings? A wedding day, the birth of a child (and today is my older daughter’s birthday—which brings back so many memories!). Beginnings hold such wonderful promise. On a more everyday level, there’s that cup of coffee or tea to start the day, getting the first peek at the morning paper, and starting a new project.
Years ago, when I made most of the clothes for myself and our two daughters (and even a few for my son—much to his chagrin!), I enjoyed assembling all the needed materials (patterns, fabric, thread, notions, etc.) and looked forward to making that first cut into the cloth. Today I’m mostly knitting, and it’s always great to pick up that new skein of yarn and begin a sweater, shawl or afghan, perhaps learning a new stitch pattern along the way. And, at the end of a long day, there’s nothing quite so delicious as kicking back and cracking open a new book, one I’ve been anticipating reading.
Of course, beginning a new writing project is great, too, whether it’s a picture book, m-g novel, article, or short story. Perhaps I’ve seen a “wish list” from a publisher, or an editor has put out a call for a certain type of story or article. As I reflect on what they’ve said and I come up with something that I think fits, I can’t wait to save the phrases and sentences that are swirling around me before they fly away. Doubts, writers’ block, sagging middles, and all the other problems that come with completing a manuscript will come later, but at the beginning, enthusiasm is high.
I scribble these first notes and thoughts on a yellow legal pad. Perhaps it’s a great idea for a title or a catchy opening. Maybe it’s something I read or heard that gives me a character I can build a story around. Sometimes it’s a new outlook I’ve discovered that I want to share. Later I’ll transfer these jottings to the proper manuscript format on the computer. At times, I may even change the whole concept that I started with and end up with a completely different manuscript. Who knows? I might even make a sale or two! But where would I be without these beginnings?
Contributed by Marjorie Flathers