Mona Voelkel

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Regaining Momentum

              How to change momentum: press go.
                                                                Sarah Aronson

I haven’t found my rhythm yet in 2023. My switch hasn’t turned on.

At my weekly SCWBI Westchester Write-In, our moderator, Assistant Regional Advisor Kimberly Marcus, noted my malaise when, in response to a question about what had been accomplished during our writing session, I shared how I had worked on everything but my manuscript.

Later, Kimberly forwarded me an article which reminded her of our conversation. Her thoughtfulness meant so much and, after reading the January 23rd Creativity Journal blog post from Sarah Aronson, was exactly what I needed to read. Sarah was feeling like I was feeling but had managed to read and write herself towards a solution. To regain her lost momentum, Sarah took small steps:

“I got up early and read a poem. Then I wrote a few words. No more than a paragraph. I decided to go easy on myself.”

Reading Sarah’s words inspired me towards the understanding that any forward motion, no matter how miniscule, is movement. I have to allow that any step forward is a step in the right direction.

I started to feel the sense of a possibilty of regaining my momentum. Then, I noticed the word “moment” in the word “momentum.” According to Etymology Online, “moment” comes directly from the Latin momentum “moving, motion; moving power; alteration, change.”

So, Sarah, by reading a poem or writing a few words is putting herself in motion. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s exactly enough to regain momentum. Momentum. There is a moment before you regain momentum where you are still. Momentous. There is a moment before a “momentous” moment that is not momentous.

Pondering this, I realize you need the stillness before the movement; the pause before the releasing of the shoot from the seed. This writing stillness of mine is a part of the writing flow to come.

In her wonderful essay, Sarah Aronson encourages the reader to “Set yourself up to look forward to your next writing session.” So, I am taking myself and my notebook out to my favorite French bistro tomorrow morning. I will drink coffee and eat a croissant while I write. I can’t wait to get started but, right now, I am grateful to two fellow writers for sharing a writing lifeline made of words.

Word Quest: momentum


momentum: the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity. (OED)



Latin momentum “movement, motion; moving power; alteration, change;” also “short time, instant” (Etymoline)

Morphological Relatives?

moment, momentum, momentous, momentary, momentarily

Structure momentum-> moment+um

Connection Corner

How has your creative life been going?

2 Responses

  1. I’m glad you had this “aha!” moment, Mona. Hope your momentum turns into a perpetual motion machine! Right now, I’m so scattered, it feels like (as a friend once said) I’ve dropped all of the balls and can only kick one at a time a little farther down the road. That pretty much sums it up….but I’m finding that as scattered as this feels, I’m getting things finished one at a time. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, LOL. And even though some projects feel stalled because they require large chunks of time. Just keep moving forward!

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