The first and foremost question a writer, public or intimate, must ask is, What must I say? To begin to know the answer to this question is to begin to know the essential self.
What must I say? What must I say? What must I say? What must I say? And finally, What must I say to you?
The beginning. Something wants to be said. We don’t know what it is or what shape it desires. An inchoate feeling. A pressure around the heart, perhaps, asking it to open. We pick up a pen or sit down at the computer.
This is the moment. Write. No matter what. Write. Don’t try to name it in advance, don’t call it play, or journal writing, or poem. Don’t ask it to have a form, or to be spelled correctly, or to appear in sentences. But write in pen so that you can’t erase it, and promise, as a way of showing respect, that it will not be thrown away.
The beginning. A blank page. It feels as if we will sit before it forever. Then let us sit before it forever. Let us sit before it until we can no longer resist writing.
The beginning is important. It is a wraith we are trying to catch, a swirl of smoke, an inspiration, just the barest breath of something coming into ourselves or going out.