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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Drying Ink

On the T yesterday there was a young woman next to me who was writing poetry. Now, as much as I try not to eavesdrop (or read over shoulders) I couldn't help it. This poetry was coming out of the tip of her pen so quickly that it was distracting me from my own reading. I pulled my cap down tight around my eyebrows and watched (because, of course, that is less creepy).

She used a rolling ball pen, not the usual cake-y thick ink, rather it was mercurial and soaked into the page immediately. It was fascinating to watch her fill the pages. She expediently filled the pages of a wide-rulde spiral notebook by writing double-spaced in her first draft. Then she went back to the top line and rewrote it with different colors (meaning word choices) underneath. The line was stronger, more pointed, and more exciting.

What was she writing about? I couldn't tell you a single word.

So why am I inspired to write about this? Because of the seemingly simple discovery that it is more interesting to watch the ink dry, than it is to read the lines themselves. Meaning, the forward action is what draws attention -- or at least should. Anticipating the next thought and change was exciting, and I had no idea what was coming!

What's next in your text?

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