In the movie Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, there is a scene in which Guinevere Pettigrew, a nanny whose responsibility is for a young American actress, and Joe Blumfield, a designer of women’s lingerie, both middle-aged adults, have left a party and are sitting in an alley, talking about life. At one point Joe tells Guinevere that while designing lingerie has its benefits (“none over twenty, I suspect,” Guin says), he had started out designing men’s socks. After discussing the intricacies of making a heel, he decides that he’s had enough of the lingerie business and he’s giving it up to go back into hosiery design, saying “you know where you are with an honest pair of socks.”
I call moments like that “Joe Blumfield Moments.” They’re the moments where you realize you haven’t done something in a long time, and you miss it, and decide that you’re going to do it. It might not involve chucking everything to go back to it, as it did with Joe, but still, you resolve that you’re going to do it.
Steph Nickel wrote a tremendous sponsor post not long ago about trying something new, and gave some great thoughts on things you can do to explore new territory. The thing I took away from the post was her Joe Blumfield Moment: she had gotten away from writing poems and wanted to get back to it.
I recently found notebooks in which I had written story ideas, the beginnings of outlines, character sketches, snippets of dialogue, descriptions of places, and whatnot. When I had my stroke, I put them on a shelf and forgot about them, having decided that writing was no longer an option. By the time I realized I missed writing and wanted to get back to it, I had forgotten about them. Finding them was a real Joe Blumfield Moment for me. I missed those characters and the stories I was going to tell with them. I’m not going to stop what I’ve been working on, but I’m setting time aside for those old projects.
I’ll bet there’s a facet of your writing that you’ve been ignoring, a project you started and never finished, a subject that’s near and dear to your heart that you used to write about all the time but, for whatever reason, you decided not to write about anymore. Maybe it’s time you got it out of the storage locker of your brain and played with it again.
Why don’t you?
Be kind to yourself. Have a Joe Blumfield Moment.