Learn more about Second Person Saturday here.
You get up early every morning and you come down to the basement to sit at your desk and write. Your secretary desk is not tidy; it is covered w/ scribbled notes and stickies and old mail and old attempts at trying to be organized. But the fold down part of the desk, the part of the desk where you need to place your notebook or your computer, is completely clutter free, and that is all that matters.
You had taken a long absence from writing. You’re not sure why you did it, although upon reflection you hazard some guesses – you were burned out, you wanted to have more time to yourself and to spend w/ your family, you didn’t have a lot to say, you wanted to read more and sleep more and sit on your ass more – even though you know that none of those reasons were really going to stand up to any degree of scrutiny.
So you returned to writing w/ a bang. You started one day in late December. The day and date do not matter, other than the fact that they are not on a memorable date like January 1st, or on your birthday, or on Labor Day, or on your anniversary. For some reason that non-attachment to a specific memorable day is important to you. It means that your decision to begin writing again regularly and in earnest is not tied to any external factor, and therefore you are likely to continue to write because you want to, not because you feel pressure to do so to maintain an arbitrary goal you have set for yourself.
You write every morning. Sometimes your writing is good, sometimes it is bad. You tell yourself that it doesn’t matter because you know – even if you have a hard time accepting it sometimes – that that is true. You know that you are not going to write masterpieces every morning sitting down at your secretary desk w/ the sound of the heater humming in the background, the only other noise the clattering of the keyboard, or the pen and your right hand going back and forth across the pages of your notebook.
Sometimes you entertain the unreasonable thought that it would be totally awesome if everything you wrote shone like gold, and wowed your readers, and was eligible for publishing in the New Yorker, but then you come back down to reality, and you remember that that is not why you write.
You write for yourself. You write to free your thoughts from within you. You write to express your opinions and to share those opinions w/ others – sometimes with the hopes of transforming perspectives, sometimes w/ the goal of entertaining, sometimes to provoke, sometimes to bullshit.
All that you write will decidedly not be good. You’re okay with that. You’re practicing. You’re working on different techniques. One of the techniques you’re working on is writing in the second person, where you make the reader the central character, where he or she is the one w/ the thoughts and the words rushing out of his or her head.
Like all your writing, in whatever style and approach you choose, sometimes this works, and other times it fails miserably, and most often it is likely somewhere in between, wallowing in mediocrity and ambivalence. You’re okay w/ that. You know you will improve, and you know you will have moments of blinding brilliance that rise above the scores of nonsense – the buoys floating and bouncing joyously on the top of the water, while the sea of lead weights sink down to the bottom.
Every Saturday you will do this. You will come down to your basement, sit at your secretary desk, write in second person, and call it day.