When Starting Is Enough

Sometimes I open a new document and vomit words all over the page. I do this when I’ve wandered (pushed, dragged, trudged) through a topic so many times in my notebook that I simply need a change of venue: the laptop. Clean font dresses up messy thoughts. Sometimes these purges turn into a real essay: when I spent three hours madly hacking my way through the topic of comparison last November, two coherent drafts (eventually) emerged. Usually I open a document to poke around for a tidy way of saying what I really want to say. But sometimes I don’t find a tidy way of saying anything. Then I save the file and return to my notebook.

I didn’t find what I want to say about

When different is better re: parenting

because the phrase presents too much for me to manage, even with a clean font. Just starting the piece was enough. I am not finished thinking about the pressure we place on our parenting or the presentation of good parenting or pride that wants my kids to behave so I look like I’ve got this gig figured out. I’ll keep wandering (pushing, dragging, trudging) through my notebook.

And related: Jennifer Senior’s book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood is on my reading list. Check out her TED talk: