Monday, January 1, 2007

Writing with confidence

It's a new year, and a good time to try something different. I welcome the symbolism of a new beginning, and resolutions—really, the first of any month will do, or the solstices or each equinox or even the beginning of the school year. But January 1 always feels like the big start.

A little over a year ago I was in a writing class and the teacher observed that one of the other students "wrote with confidence." What an idea! This was something I hadn't considered, confidence not being my strong suit in any arena. Writing with confidence—maybe I should give that a try. The idea stayed in my head, but didn't make it onto the page. Now, this is as good a time as any to start.

It could be tricky in that writing, I think, depends in part on not knowing where you're going. At its best, it's an act of experimentation and discovery. So writing with confidence might be like boldly stepping into the abyss. It reminds me of the Corning Glass Museum, which has a platform made of glass—and it's hard to step out onto that platform even though I know the glass is thick and the museum wouldn't put it there and invite people to walk on it if it might break.

In this writing year, I need to walk, not edge, out onto that glass. I'll need to practice writing with confidence, as though I trust that I belong here, and the glass will not shatter.

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