Early in my writing life I became friends with a woman who created perfect prose. Her language, its rhythms and word choices, sang exquisitely. Her stories evoked such overwhelming emotion in me that I often felt like crying from the beauty of it. And she did it instinctively and almost effortlessly.
My friend has only written 3 stories in 15 years, each one award-winning.
She’s been on my mind as I’ve thought about my New Year’s Writing Resolutions. I must have been thinking about her so much I’ve started channelling her. For the first 16 days of 2014 I’ve written nothing.
No, that’s not true. I’ve written teaching notes and lesson plans for my Creative Writing Classes. I’ve written emails to friends and students. I’ve edited other writers’ work. I’ve started loading stories into Pressbooks for an ebook anthology for a Writing Workshop. All activities in and around writing. But I haven’t yet written one word of writing for myself.
Habits take 21 days to consolidate so I’m well on the way to following in my friend’s footsteps.
So here’s my New Year challenge to all of us.
For the next 21 days let’s get up half an hour earlier and write. On the mornings we’re home I know once we start we won’t stop. But this challenge isn’t really about the writing.
It’s all about establishing discipline. Something my brilliant friend lacked – and that’s a tragedy.
Will you join me?
“Exercising is a good analogy for writing. If you’re used to not exercising you want to avoid it forever. If you’re used to it, it feels uncomfortable and strange not to.” Jennifer Egan