Sunday, October 20, 2013

One Word at a Time

Long tights, wool under layers, sunny skies, fallen leaves, miles of roads and lots of training... my morning ground ride leaves in an hour. Baby's in the Netherlands and I'm getting a laundry list of writing done. So far this morning: 1,000 words, and yes, I keep track. Each morning I wake up before it's light out, turn on my reading light and dive into a novel for an hour or so. Once my grumbling tummy can no longer be ignored, I head downstairs with a whining Makiah in tow. A scoop of kibble in her dog dish, a scoop of oatmeal and water in a pot and I sit down, scribbling down morning thoughts in my green journal. I read more while eating, filling my mind with words, noticing what works for some writers and what doesn't. (New pet peeve: when someone says something is indescribable. All I read is cop out! Come on, you have to have felt something. Tell us about it. Or at least try. That's your duty as a writer. Also note to self: never use that saying, even though I have. :))

After breakfast, I head upstairs and sit down, turn on some music and begin my morning writing. I tease and pull out prose. I don't judge it, I just get it out. Letting the muse inside transform the laptop before me. I watch as the word count creep up, pleased with my progress. If focused, I can squeeze out those 1,000 words in about an hour. Some of it's good, some of it mediocre. Regardless of its quality, it's a first draft and it's more important to get things out on paper than it is to critique. At least not right now.

Sometimes I sit, mind blank as I stare out the window watching the world spin by. Sometimes I type, unable to keep up with the thoughts in my head and transferring them to paper. Sometimes I weep, caught up in the memory of Ryan as memoirs require you to access your past, to drudge up long forgotten memories that were left quiet in the recess of your mind. It's hard work putting your memories down on paper and accurately describing what you know is true. But it is beyond rewarding.

Goal for next week: Chapter 8. Getting it done, one word at a time. Travel to Hawaii to pack up my grandmother's house. Spend quality time with my mom.

Reading: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes; The Writer Who Stayed by William Zinsser.
Just finished reading: On Writing by Stephen King; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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