I have this pencil, see. It is a very special pencil. It is kind of fat, but not like those big, fat, first-grader pencils I used once upon a time. However, it is thicker than the average pencil. Round, smooth and no ridges either. And no eraser.
Okay, so, I think the pencil is magic.
This Spring, I decided to let myself try writing something very different for myself. I had an idea, but it just wouldn't fit into a picture book (HA!) or a middle grade. The concept needed a little more freedom, more room to breathe. It needed to be written as a YA.
But I was kind of scared to try and write it. It was new to me and every time I sat at the keyboard, I froze up.
Enter Magic Pencil.
I decided that I was pre-editing too much. I wouldn't even let the thought reach the keys before I silenced it. So, I felt around inside my desk and grabbed the first pencil I could find, pulled out my composition book and started writing. (I always write picture books free-hand. Delete buttons are dangerous when shaping an idea. I like to see what I have crossed out, sometimes that is where the good stuff begins.)
This pencil has written every single word of this book, which is now about a third of the way done. I think of it as my little writing buddy. We're in this thing together.
Imagine my shock when I couldn't find it the other day!!! My special magic pencil!! Oh sure, there are other pencils....but this one is special. The one keeps the internal editor quiet. Maybe he says things like: "Oh, don't worry, Mrs. Editor, she's not working on anything you need to worry about....look, she's using me, a primary kid's pencil...serious writers use computers or fancy schmancy pens, not pathetic, fat, little yellow pencils. You can come back later, you know, say half an hour? Fine then."
Luckily, after tearing the room apart, I found him, under the couch. Whew!
But it started me thinking about my little writing superstitions:
*I am quite convinced that this "magic" pencil must write the entire book.
*I always copy down all of my ideas on the first page of a new writing book (my idea page) before I allow myself to write anything else in it.
*I always must begin a new writing book when there are at least 10 pages left in the old one. (For some reason, I must leave a few blank pages....?)
Writing superstitions, anyone?