One Day at a Time

Between doctor appointments (mine and a daughter’s), a visit to my mom, and two quick trips to Bellingham, I am still writing. I now have about 16,000 words (14,000 of them typed). Yesterday I wrote my 500 words in my parked car, late in the afternoon while (ostensibly) running an errand. At Lauren Sapala’s blog, she calls this having faith in the process. Just 500 words, that isn’t so much. What’s the big deal if I miss a day? I’ll write 1000 tomorrow–I promise!

But it is a big deal, because writing every day (this would be true even if it were one, 17-syllable long sentence) is what creates the foundation for writing every day.

I’m reminded of my creative writing student Nathalie who used to come into class and shout, “I have 40 days!” “I have 41 days!” She was a recovering addict, and when she disappeared around mid-quarter, for about a week, I worried. When she came back, slinking in and sitting down as though she wished she were invisible, we couldn’t help but look at her, and wait. She raised her chin, looked back at us, and said, “I have one day.” By the end of the quarter, though, she had 17 days. One day generates the momentum for the next.

My daughters are on their way to the Lady Gaga concert at Key Arena this evening. And you think I’m obsessed with working every day on your art? 

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