Day 5, Winter 2022 Mini 1000
Today we will write 1000 words.
Yesterday I wrote 1001 words in the morning, but I didn’t like a lot of them. I had gone to a cafe I ordinarily like but for some reason nothing felt good. I sat at a weird table; my hands were at a bad angle. Was the cafe always this noisy? Why do all these people have so much to say to each other? A couple started happily playing a board game and I thought: What has this world come to? I was just sort of banging out the words to finish my task for the day. I felt fussy, and I knew it, so I just kept typing, to be done already.
I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to be a professional writer, there was no guarantee every day of work would feel glorious or magical or provocative or like I was making some great work of art. (Is any job perfect all the time?) Sometimes you have to get the words down just so you can throw most of them away. I accepted it was one of those days and moved on.
But then last night, right before bed, I gave it another go. I sat down with my pen and notebook, I shut my eyes for a moment, and I sent a character I hadn’t spent a lot of time with yet on a walk. In a dead cold Midwestern winter near a frozen lake. At night, in the moonlight. A back road. On the way from somewhere she liked, to somewhere she didn’t. I thought, put her there, let her see all the things she needs to see. Get rid of everything else. That’s as quiet a place as I could imagine. During the day, I could not conjure up the quiet I had needed. But last night, finally, I could.
And then I experienced a small bit of joy with my work. I don’t know, maybe I wrote a few hundred words? I didn’t type them up. But I got to the place I needed to be, that had nothing to do with my bigger draft, a deadline at the end of the year, or even being a part of this writing project we are doing this week. Just a few hundred words simply for me.
Words saved the day yet again.
Good luck on this Friday. Take an extra lap just to write a little something that pleases the soul, if you have time.
Keep it cool,
You are reading the #Mini1000, an offshoot of #1000wordsofsummer and the Craft Talk newsletter from Jami Attenberg. My most recent book is I Came All This Way To Meet You: Writing Myself Home available at all bookstores, and definitely your local indie.