Day 11 of #1000wordsofsummer 2019
|Jami Attenberg||Nov 25, 2019|
Today you will write 1000 words. No matter what you are writing – fiction, non-fiction, otherwise – you will give yourself permission to write it all down in an honest way. You must be courageous and tell the truth, whatever that truth means for you. Don’t worry what anyone else thinks while you’re in this precise act of generating new work. Don’t let anyone else get in your head. You only have this one moment of pure creation. Use it to tell the truth.
Yesterday I wrote in one short, intense burst. I had to get everything out of me immediately. But then, I skidded for a second, and then halted, and found myself hovering, trying to decide if I wanted to describe a particular event in my life. Finally I whispered to myself: Write without fear. I have whispered this to myself a thousand times before, but it is always good to hear it again. Perhaps you know this too, but I shall say it one more time. Whisper it to yourself whenever you waver from your intention. Write without fear.
Today’s guest contributor is New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman who is the author of twenty-three (!) novels, a children’s book, and a short stories. She has written journalism, criticism, and absolutely gorgeous essays for numerous publications and has won the Edgar, the Anthony, the Agatha and other fancy awards. Her new novel, Lady in the Lake, will be published July 23.
"‘Don't worry that it's not going to be perfect, just worry that it's not going to be.’
That line – quoted from memory, so no promises that I got it right – is spoken during the song ‘Being Alive’ from Company. It's about love/marriage/whatever, but to me it's the best advice I know for writing. If you have been looking for something where your mistakes are not only not fatal, but maybe part of making your way to where you want to be, then: Welcome to Writing! No one gets hurt if you start your draft in the wrong place. So just start.
One day I was stuck in a novel and I didn't know what to write. So I went to social media and said: Give me a noun and I'll give you a chapter. And a woman I know in Israel said ‘rice’ and I wrote a whole chapter about a man thinking about risotto while lying next to his lover, who may or may not have killed somebody. That chapter ended up in the book. What if it hadn't? Who cares.
Writing is never wasted. Every time you commit a word to ‘paper’ – or computer screen, or whatever – you've learned something, you've done something.”
Go do something,