Almost 10 years ago, a friend of mine gave me the book Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See for my 30th birthday. It is a book full of advice, inspiration, and hard realities that perhaps, at the time, I wasn’t ready to hear. While I’d thumbed through it before, picking up the bits I found intriguing (e.g. Chapter 16. That First Trip to New York) and skimming over the more salient parts (like Chapter 15. Rewriting), I didn’t really read the text. So I found it just like new this weekend on my bookshelf, it’s spine dusty. Again I skimmed, but this time I didn’t want to get wrapped up in the writing life fantasy. I wanted to be kicked in the ass and slapped around a bit. I wanted to be motivated the way cattle sometimes are – to be poked and prodded.
Much of the advice Ms. See offers to the reader is nothing new. In fact, some of it is outdated as over the last decade, processes for queries and submissions have changed (like, I probably won’t need to go to New York at all – bummer). But, she is right about something as plain and simple as breathing: 1,000 words a day. Period. Not earth-shattering, not groundbreaking, but a simple truth; a truth I’ve heard and ignored, laughed at, and called impossible.
Not anymore. I’m taking a no excuses approach to this thing called writing. It’s 1,000 words a day until I’m done. Hopefully, that means November because I don’t want to write another Anna Karenina. But 1,000 words a day. Period.
Weekdays. And Saturdays when I don’t have a hair appointment.
No, everyday. Most of them. Starting today. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.