Starting Over: The Red Pen in my Pocket

Author’s Note: I can’t classify this as free writing, since I’d be lying if I said these words tumbled from my brain without fine-tuning. I must be hard-wired to start over… and over… and over…

In response to this week’s Writing Challenge c/o the Daily Post:

Before one can edit, one must write.
So I do.
I write and I write and I write and I write.
And then I stop.
I think.
I debate.
I delete.
I start over.

Clichés saturated with the notion of ‘starting over’ are aplenty in our culture:

  • Every day is a chance to turn it all around.
  • I’ve got a new lease on life.
  • Better late than never.

Are we encouraging ourselves and others to stop dead in our tracks (also a cliché) and head in a new direction, or is the implicit assumption here that we do our best to ease the transition between where we are and where we’d like to go? I’m not sure I have the answer to that, although I speculate we tend towards the former when we ought to make it an integrative process. ‘Ought’ is a pretty lofty word, though…

Being a writer, I ‘start over’ in the microcosmic worlds I create each and every day. There is something to be said about the familiar feel of the ‘Backspace’ key or striking out text with a red ballpoint pen. Much of this depends on your mood: if you’re confident, editing is a productive and even liberating step in the path towards betterment, but when that confidence wavers, any feelings of productivity are replaced by feelings of “not good enough.” It’s a tricky business.

No matter your profession, your disposition, or your history, starting over is never easy.

For writers and many other professionals, though, it is necessary, and subsequently we are never far from a red pen to exercise our critical thinking (or simply critical) skills.

Here’s to new beginnings and better endings.



5 responses to “Starting Over: The Red Pen in my Pocket

  1. Pingback: This Thursday’s Thought | jrwritesthings·

  2. Yeah, I would agree with you. Starting over is a difficult thing to do. There’s no actual way, or method or system for that. It’s up to us to do the first move to start over. 🙂


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