There’s something about September and going back to school that never leaves you, no matter how long ago you left school, or even how long ago your children left school. It’s the knowledge that summer’s over and it’s time to knuckle down and get back into the flow of life again; of progression and moving forward. It doesn’t matter whether your work involves sitting at a desk or sitting at a checkout. The air smells different, the world looks different. I love it. Always have. There always seems to be that glorious freshnesses in the air, the colour and depth of the sky, the leaves having the barest tint of gold, hints of the spectacular colours of Autumn on their way, bonfires and blustery winds to guard against. Much better than summer.
And back to school reminds me of new books and pristine pages to be written upon. A chance to start afresh, write neater, cleaner, not drag my clumsy left hand over the words written and blur and smudge the perfect page – which is paralysing isn’t it? The thought that you can’t make it perfect, the fear that it won’t come out the way you want it to. That you have failed.
It’s easy to treat your writing like that first page. Wanting it to be perfect and then being disappointed as all that effort on the first page spoils the next, the words seeping overleaf so that perfection is impossible. It’s best to always remember that perfection is impossible so quit trying. Don’t let anything stop you writing, just write, don’t give a thought to what anyone else will think of it, just get the words out however they come, you can tidy them up later. Lay them pristine and clean upon a computer screen and, when you feel the words are as polished as you will ever get them print them out. Then start on the next page, and the next and build up that habit that you lost through the summer. There’s nothing more satisfying than pages of words, sitting there waiting to be polished to shine like little gems.