Obviously, I’ve been slipping up on posting lately. Rather than excuses, I’ll simply say that I’ve struggled to know what to say when it has never been clearer to me that I have no idea what I’m doing. And just posting day after day with ‘I have no idea what I’m doing; here’s the zero pages I’ve written’ would quickly become redundant (if it hasn’t already).
But I would not fail my infinitely superior friend (http://bitsypookums.tumblr.com/), who has actually managed to produce fails of the week, so I have written a small drabble for today. I didn’t push myself–it’s only a page and a half, it isn’t really going anywhere as a story, and it sucks–but it is prose. And in the act of writing it, I realized how vital it is that I write every day. Even just a page, even just a disconnected random drabble that doesn’t advance toward publication at all.
Because the longer I don’t write, the more I build it up in my head as this almighty mystical and impossible process. But if I were just to write a page a day, I would remind myself each day that writing is just words–one after the other. Now, even though many authors would say ‘a page a day for a year makes a novel,’ those pages have to be related and sequential for that to work (unless you’re going really experimental, which I’m not). But for my purposes, I’m looking more at the authors who say that the muse finds you when you’re working, or the old ‘I write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock’ quote (Peter De Vries, if my cursory Googling is correct).
I want to combine thinking of writing as a craft/job/routine exercise, with writing just for fun. I want to tap into my “natural storyteller” so that I’m writing my truest self, even if it’s not publishable material. Obviously, I want to be published (and for many reasons, the sooner the better)–but publishing is not the end all be all of writing. And when it has warped my process as much as it has, I have a lot of damage to undo before I can think of publication again.
So I’m going to force myself to write something (ANYTHING) every day, even if it’s one page on its own, until I can view writing as just a tool in a process. I’ll continue to work on finding my “story,” and trying to organize my creativity into continuous production. And every week I’ll pick one piece of writing, even just a sentence, to post as part of my ‘fail of the week.’ Believe me when I say it will be bad, and probably make the few readers I have stop reading because obviously I have no talent, but I will do it because that’s the deal.
For this week’s fail (emphasis: fail), I have this sentence featuring my wonderfully varied vocabulary: Even cocooned as I was in sweaty blankets and thick darkness, I felt his presence like a crack of sunlight edging through the opening cocoon.