First Steps by Patti Daly



The request was 300 words on anything you want. Of course, I would love to submit a piece. Isn’t this what I’ve been waiting for and thinking about for months? Start to write again…get involved in something. Shed my cloak of doubt and jump into the mix.

But, wait, am I crazy? I haven’t flexed the writing muscle in years. What if I don’t have anything to say, or worse, can’t figure out how to say it? And didn’t I recently see an 11 year old author on morning t.v. plugging her first book? I am SO behind!

I have always thought of myself as a writer. And that took various forms over the years until marriage, motherhood and its hungry partner, volunteerism took hold.

Fast forward, and I do mean fast forward, 33 years and now with my official duties behind me, here I am. Yes, I’ll say it. I’m a writer. But, of what? I have told myself that it’s the act of writing that’s important. It’s the process that’s gratifying. But, that requires taking the reader out of the equation. Not so easy. Yet, if you ask any artist, dancer, writer or musician, they will say they do it for themselves. They can’t not. Producing a piece of writing or work of art that feels genuine and satisfying to you, but also touches or resonates in your audience means you have done something special. Sounds like a struggle at best, but I’m in.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get there, but that you realize that now is the time, it’s this spot, this purpose that will move you forward. So, after jumping over, pushing away and turning my back on writing because the white page was sooo scary, I’m here. I’m sitting here staring down the white page, clearing my throat and taking first steps. 300 words at a time.

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