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The Stages of Change Vignette

The pen is mightier - when in use

“Ok. This is happening. For real this time. I’ve done it.”

The hesitant response on the other end of the phone line was not an ideal start. “Done what, exactly?”

“I’ve got the perfect writing desk. That typewriter I heard about. I was telling you about it last time we had lunch, remember? I’ve got this cool board for tracking progress. I spent maybe too much on this really unique pen. I’m not sure where to get refills for it yet, but I’ll figure it out. And I’ve got two books about writing books. I’ll probably start reading those this weekend.”

“So, you’re talking about writing that book you’ve been talking about for three years?”

“Yeah. What else would I be talking about?”

“Um… You know I love you, right?”

“I feel a bit nervous when you tell me in that tone, but yes. I know you love me. ”

“Do you think it takes the perfect desk, pen, and machine to write the perfect book?”

“I’ve been reading these articles and…”

“I’m not saying you bought a useless pen.”

“It better not be. It was pricey.”

“You’re talking about refills for a pen. Have you even started writing with it yet?”

“I did some like… tests on a piece of paper to make sure it works. It does.”

“Wait. Why did you spend weeks researching pens if you were going to use an old fashioned typewriter?”

“What if the typewriter breaks while I’m chasing my muse?”

“You’re spending all of this time preparing to write. What about the actual writing part?”

“Once I sit down to do that I want it to go well.”

“I can understand that. I’m just wondering if you’re buying into all of these things instead of actually doing it. You get all excited about the specifications of pens and then you sort of wander off again. Unless you’re writing a book about pens I’m not sure I understand what you’re doing.”

“Writing is hard.”

“I’m sure it is. Look at how many people can sell you books about writing books. Oh. I wonder if they got lost writing a book and wrote about writing instead. Kind of like if you decided to write about your expertise on pens. Huh.”

“Didn’t you do the same thing when you started adult coloring?”

“What do you mean?”

“You got these fancy colored pencils and then you spent all this time arranging them instead of coloring.”

“Yeah. That’s actually a part of my hobbies that I really enjoy. I like organizing things in different ways. The difference is that’s what I actually sit down to do a lot of times. I’m not trying to complete anything. I’m just ordering the colors in ways that I enjoy. I know for some people that would be a distraction or tedious. It’s fun for me.”

“So, it’s the same thing.”

“Are you more interested in preparing to write a book or actually writing a book? I’ll try to support you either way. Just let me know what you need.”

The silence lingered for several beats. “I think I need to start writing my book.”


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