Sunday, July 8, 2007

Seventy Days of Sweat, or whatever it is that writers do when they write


You're probably wondering what this photo has to do with 70 days and sweat. Why absolutely nothing of course! Except that biker blurring across the bottom right-hand corner, he's probably sweating up a storm. (I just remembered you can't see the biker. Until I tweak my blog layout, my photos will continue to get chopped off. . . if you really want to see him, just double click on the photo.)

Moving on, yesterday I happened to surf past Diana Peterfreund's blog and became very excited when I read that there was a writing challenge going on. I liked the terms of the challenge, and the thought of working together as a group and being accountable to the other writers sounded perfect.

Of course, that was yesterday. Today, I'm still glad I signed up, but my wheels in my mind are still spinning.

Last fall when I wrote Book 1, I finished the first rough draft--all 60,000 words of it--in a month and a half. I wrote every day, and though uncomfortable, I kept on typing. All the things I'd read in Stephen King's book On Writing, and online--mostly at Holly Lisle's site--reinforced the impression that writing is hard work and you just have to buckle down and do it, so I did it. Each time my rear end started to ache from sitting on a hard plastic chair too long, or I became uncomfortable from sitting at my makeshift desk, I'd just adjust my posture and keep on going. (I straddled a rectangular cardboard box in front of a credenza, with my iMac on the credenza and my keyboard on the box, I'd type until I couldn't sit there any longer, or my arms began to ache.)

So, it's been a little crazy for me since I started Book 2 a month and a half ago. Sometimes I write, but most the time I don't. Today, like many days that have come before, I sat here in front of my laptop for three hours, document open and cursor blinking unable to put words to page.

It's not a matter of not knowing what to write. Beyond the story arc, I have a few paragraphs ready to transcribe, written during a commute to work last week. I know what comes next.

For me, I think it's just a matter of delving in and getting started. Once the words begin to flow, it becomes easier, and time slips by more quickly. The trick is getting started.

So here I go, wish me luck. If all turns out well, I'll have at least six new pages written by the time I close up shop for the night.


p.s. If you're interested in either joining or learning more details about the challenge that Alison Kent, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Tyler, Jo Leigh and HelenKay Dimon have issued, you can read about it here.

p.p.s. During the next several weeks, feel free to prod, poke, and spur me along if you don't see any writing progress showing in the sidebar on the right. If I'm keeping it up and doing well, congratulations and words of encouragement will be accepted just as readily.

Update 7/8/07, 4:22: Okay, I'm a wimp! After reading this, I'm done complaining. I've written consistently before, I can do it again. I just needed to realize, again, how much I want it. (To write that is.)


  1. Oh! I am a veteran cheerleader!
    I'll be glad to cheer you on :o)

    I love your photograph today too.
    And I went to look at it on Flickr...and I spotted that sandwich...and well...

    All I have to say to that is...

    Get in my belly!

    You can write!
    You can write well!