About a year ago, my mom gave me a book, "Leaving A Trace" by Alexandra Johnson. The book is non-fiction, giving advice and inspiration to aspiring diarists and journal keepers through example and demonstration. It is charmingly written, gentle in its admonishements to get, and keep, writing, and altogether worth reading.
Naturally, I ignored it.
I mean, Mom gave it to me, I read the introduction, thought "aww, isn't that nice" and put the book on my "to read" shelf and left it there until last Friday.
Last Friday was the second of two days off where I got nothing, and I mean, nothing done. I just felt drained and had no creative energy to do anything. And for some reason, one of those strange feelings that are best left unexamined lest they vanish, I started reading "Leaving A Trace".
I haven't felt this inspired and ready to write in years.
A couple of years ago, 2004 through 2006 to be specific, I managed to write everyday. Whether it was online, or in my paper journal, or in some sort of story, I managed something everyday. For a full three years. 2007 hit and I couldn't do it anymore. I just needed a break. Since January of this year, I have been trying to get re-started and nothing has geled.
But, as I said, this book is inspiring. So I'm going to follow some of the writing exercises listed at the back of each chapter as a way of re-kindling some old creative fires. I may even post them here.
If you're anything like me, a half-hearted diarist, wannabe writer, would-be journalist, you may get some value out of Ms. Johnson's book. Good luck.