Day 1 of #1000wordsofsummer 2019

Hello good people,

Today you will write 1000 words. The day is young and fresh and you are alive on this planet and your mind is sharp and you have something to say and the capacity with which to say it. Now gather up your courage and channel your energy. It is time to begin.

This past spring, I finished my seventh novel, all the last little edits, the acknowledgements, every final detail. After a few weeks off, I started writing again, just to keep my brain limber until I could commit to the next project. I wrote one-third of four different extremely short stories. I wrote half of two essays. I tweeted a lot. I frequently updated an ongoing list of book titles, zero of which I had any intention of planning to write.  I finished nothing.

I did have one big new novel idea, which I had circled for months, discussing it with friends, but I had failed to start it. I watched it from a distance, as if it were someone I had a crush on but did not have the guts to approach. I was not ready to fall in love again, not in the way that you have to when you write a book.

Then, about six weeks ago, early one morning, I had to get out of the house -- I couldn’t bear to think about the work/not-work for a moment longer. So I walked my dog to a café a few blocks away. There I ran into a wise writer friend, who has about a decade of experience on me. He asked me how I was doing and I hemmed and hawed about being “in transition,” and he said to me, “There’s only one way to figure it out. Put pen to paper and write your way through it.” I had known it all along but I needed someone to put it simply to me at the right moment. An hour later I began my new novel.

This is the right moment, and this is me telling you to put pen to paper and write your way through it. Starting now.

A few things you need to know:

This project will last two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, you will have fourteen thousand words, more or less. This is a significant amount of work. You will, at the very least, feel a unique sense of accomplishment. At the very most, you will finish a project.

Every day, via this list, I will offer you advice, often with a little help from my writer friends. When the project is over, the emails will remain online. If you miss a day, you can always go back and read the archives.

You can use #1000wordsofsummer on social media (I will mostly be on twitter) to let me and everyone else know your word count at the end of the day. This is an excellent way to form community and find accountability partners or at least a little bit of support. One of the best parts about this project is how we all claim a small part of the internet for ourselves for this period of time. I genuinely look forward to hearing from you.

I wish you all the luck and success today. I know you can do this.

Get going already,