My pen died in Starbucks today. Why do we use such harsh language when talking about inanimate objects? A thing cannot die if it never lived. My pen ran out of ink in Starbucks today. I was working a rare early shift in the next town over, which meant catching a bus too early because the next one would be too late. I had a grande blonde roast with soy milk, and I was going to do my regular morning writing practice, but my pen ran out of ink barely seven minutes into the twenty minute timer.

If you know “morning pages,” you know Julia Cameron prescribes three pages written longhand. I ask Siri for a twenty minute timer because my notebooks are not always the same size. Some months, I might be getting off light. I like twenty minutes. It’s short enough to feel doable most times of the day, but long enough that some good stuff comes out near the end. I find the good stuff usually waits until the end, until you’ve given up. The first five minutes is fluff. The second five is complaining. By the third, you’re wandering lost. But in the last five minutes, your brain shuts up and great sentences fall from your fingers.