Archive - Nov 14, 2013


Pushing forward

Pardon my absence, but I have been on a writing binge. This week I am averaging 4,000 words per day, which is an improvement over last week. I am working on two projects. When one hits a wall, I go to the other. That works well. My willingness to write is completely due to encouragement from an editor and a coach. Push on! they say, it will sell. Without such encouragement, subconscious doubts lead me to put off work to avoid the eventual rejection of my manuscript. That rejection will still happen, but then I just must be persistent. Keep presenting it. Publish it yourself. Whatever. Just keep the pen (or the cursor) moving and good things will happen. That is the advice I have been given, and it is good advice.  

One book is stories. I like to write stories. These are longer stories than my column, so this is a new exercise. They are stories that have been in my head for twenty-five years, so they require no original thinking. They only need to be written down. The stories do take on a new shape once on paper, but you have to accept that and...plow forward. That's another reason writer's get blocked: We can't face the stories of our imagination becoming actual stories on paper because the result is never what you imagined it to be. 

Also motivating me, frankly, is the sale of the nursery to brother Joe and his wife Kae, which we finished up before I left for Arizona. I didn't realize the deep effect actually signing the papers would have on my psyche. I have been utterly restless ever since, determined to create a new income, a new identity and a new daily routine. I have a little window of time before the wolf will arrive at the door. I must use it wisely. 

The words come more easily with practice. Today, a new record: 4,950 words in one day. I am not even close to the fifty pages per day U. S. Grant wrote when he pushed to get his memoirs done before cancer killed him. But I am well over the 250 words per day his publisher, the notoriously lazy Mark Twain, considered a successful day of writing.