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Day 4, Winter 2023, Mini 1000
Today we will write 1000 words. Because we’re trying to entertain ourselves, entertain our minds, invent something wild and free and wholly fresh and unique. It’s always an adventure just for you, when you’re writing. It’s never boring. There’s always a way to surprise ourselves. You get to make up your own goddamn world. One thousand words of something brand new. I find that thrilling, don’t you?
Yesterday I had a writing date with a new friend who is working her way into establishing a regular practice for herself. We chatted about how sometimes we write every day without knowing what our project is yet. And how to figure out what all the words could become.
I talked about how sometimes I look at other books to see what parts I really admire about them. Not stealing from them, but aspiring to them, their aesthetics, the way they lean into their passions, the way they break new ground. Making a list of books you like can be helpful. Particular scenes and characters or big emotional moments. I love a wow factor. Sometimes the whole damn book is a wow factor. (I’m using Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle as a particular touchstone for my new book, if you’re looking for a big, impressive book to read.)
Figuring out that there’s something you really wish you could write, that there’s something that is speaking to you on a certain level, that’s where it can often start. Writing regularly, reading, watching movies, consuming all kinds of culture — something will eventually rise from the mist of our brains. Something exhilarating and new.
It’s day 4 — are you making a lot of progress? Yesterday I wrote about a character’s hair from four different perspectives and I plan to use those perspectives spread throughout the book. Seems like a small thing, hair, but it felt so necessary and like something significant slotted into place. And I only realized it needed to be written because I kept showing up on the page.
Hope you have a productive and inventive day.
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