This morning, I interviewed a friend for an article I'm writing. Having become so used to writing from my own head in my own space, I was a little boggled--would we just talk, or would I take notes? Would the notes be on a device (I've gotten used to writing my own things that way), or would they be on paper (perhaps less off-putting than typing what could just as well be texts into one's phone)?
I left the house with some notecards and a hastily retrieved pen--not
fancy, but serviceable, or so I thought. Half a notecard into the
interview, my pen was no longer producing ink (before I could reach
into my bag for another, my interview subject had handed me one of
hers--an odd throwback to my being the mom on the playground who never
had tissues or wipes or Bandaids). It was a little awkward, but how many new things aren't? We continued our conversation, and I
walked away with a head full of information and close to ten notecards
full of scribbled words and thoughts.
It was not easy listening and scribbling simultaneously. I am used to a
real dichotomy, where my writing is my writing, in a place of quiet and
solitude, and my interactions with people are face to
face--listening, sharing, reacting. Today's combination of the two
reminded me that the two things don't have to be so separate. While my
conversation may not have been as natural as one not involved with
writing, there was still connection while I was scribbling. While I was
not alone in a quiet room while I scribbled, I realized that there will
be a lot of places to start putting together the pieces. The quiet will
come, just in a different way.
Often, we get caught up in doing the same things in the same way. After
all, if something is working, why change it? Yet, when we step out of
that "same things, same way" comfort zone, we sometimes find new skills,
new approaches, and new knowledge--and discover that we are capable of
things we might never have imagined.
I am excited about this new writing challenge, and about the new pen and
notecard and method changes it may bring. Stay tuned to see how
it turns out...