Today, I spent 40 minutes in the Secretary of State office, renewing my driver’s license. I took my Morning Pages notebook, my journal, and extra paper to hand-write ideas for my WIP. I ended up talking. Some of you who know me may be saying, “Well, duh!”
When I looked up from my Morning Pages to think, the white man across from me in his 50’s asked me, “Are you writing a letter? It sure is a long one.” I replied, “No. They’re my Morning Pages. I write two a day to clear the clutter so I can do some productive writing later.”
The black woman sitting one seat away from me said, “I used to do that. But I did it every night, not in the morning.” I agreed that was a good time to do it, so you could fall asleep without the day’s clutter. She said she still has hers from years ago. I encouraged her to pick it up again.
Then the man picked up on my writing comment, and said he wanted to write a poem for his 11-year-old daughter. I told him, “So do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You have permission to write junk. If you set a small goal, like to write two lines a day, you’ll be surprised at the things you can come up with.”
He then said he wanted to write her love letters, to give to her on her wedding day — to which the woman next to me and I both agreed it would make a lovely gift, also to let his daughter know that he loved her through all the rebellious teen-years. The woman sitting a few seats over with her 16-year-old nephew chuckled at that. I’m guessing she could relate to the teen comment. I suggested he buy a nice journal and write the letters in the journal, and then he could gift wrap that. Something lit up in the guy. I could tell he appreciated the suggestion.
My number was called — number 13. Also, I was getting my license renewed on the 13th. So I asked if I could only pay $13. The clerk laughed, but said no.
By the time I left the building, I had a page and a half done in my Morning Pages, a clipped-old and a papered-temporary driver’s licenses, and I chatted with people on the way out, wishing them to have a good day.
Forty minutes among strangers. Instead of my personal writing, I had encouraged at least two of them to do writing on their own. It was a good morning.