I started my writing practice in earnest in 1997. Using the model of morning pages from The Artist’s Way, I would write at least 3 pages long hand every day, and found the experience to be profoundly helpful as I shifted from the life I’d known on the other coast, to the new life emerging here where the water is always on the wrong side of the horizon. My preferred tools were (and are) a hardcover sketch book and a black Gelly Roll pen. The pen moves quickly across smooth pages. And in about a month, I could fill the book (back then) because it was also where I kept class notes, random doodles and the work of my “writing dates.” At first, it was a Friday ritual, as my academic adviser challenged me to actually set aside a day a week to write. Since I wanted to “be” a writer, we agreed that I ought to write and write and write.
In addition to the work of writing in the journal as a spiritual practice each day, and writing papers, and taking a day a week to focus on writing, one of my happiest memories of this time in life was the writing dates I had with friends. In the reading room at school there was a weekly date led by a more advanced student and brilliant teacher. I’d have routine dates at cafes with buddies who have since gone on to fame (if not fortune). There were for a time dates in the dorm rooms on weekends sharing poems with the women of faith who would share images of god and goddess and life in the social and monastic traditions sought as their vocations.
Nowadays, writing dates tend to be an excuse to talk and drink coffee and complain about writing stuckness, blog formats and outsourcing. But today I am writing in a cafe with a buddy. And actually writing. And remembering how good it feels to be back in the groove.
Writing Prompt: The date started with…