Day 14 of #1000wordsofsummer 2021

Hi friends.

Today you will write 1000 words. Because you can see a clear path to finishing this project and you must follow it. You have a singular directed focus.  You know exactly what you need to do to write these words, where to situate yourself physically to feel comfortable and alert, how to flip that productivity switch in your brain, how to connect with all the little creative wires coursing through you. But you don’t need me to tell you that. And you never did. You already knew how to do all this. You already knew how to sit down and write 1000 words.

One of the most interesting things about this project is how the combination of the accumulation of words matched with the insistent daily contemplation of those words forces you to reevaluate your relationship with your work. I would take a little time today to notice those changes in yourself, if your heart feels more open to your creative being, if you feel more attuned to it, if you feel more confident and comfortable with the notion of being a writer.

For me, I feel access to a certain self I hadn’t tended to in years, that fiction writing self. Oh, she’s still in there, I thought more than once these past two weeks. Oh, she’s alive after all. And I wrote every day, found I could not walk away from it, because I was in community with all of you. Thank you.

And thanks to those who got paid subscriptions these past few weeks. Nearly $7000 will be going to the charities chosen by contributing authors, as well as to support micro grants through various New Orleans cultural and community organizations, including 826 New Orleans and No Dream Deferred. And thank you to those who supported our many wonderful authors by ordering their books, and also mine.

This project is meant to be free, of course. These letters, these ideas. Information should be free. There are many ways to support the vision of this project without spending a dime. Ordering books through your local library. Supporting your peers through social media when they have something published. Going to zoom events and saying something nice in the chat. Being a positive and thoughtful member of a writing group. Mentoring younger writers, if you’re in a place to do that. And when we’re all ready to go to book events again, clapping real loud, especially from the back row. So that nervous person standing on stage can hear you. So they don’t feel alone in this world.

The slack will stay up through the end of the month. I encourage you to start writing groups of your own, even if it’s only for a daily check-in. This newsletter will return mid-summer, and we will be talking about how to begin a project as I start a new novel, and also sometimes about what it’s like to publish a book, as I commence the countdown to putting out my memoir. Stay with me if you want, or unsubscribe then come back next summer, for more of this madness.

Thank you again, all of you, for being here with me and with each other. It meant everything to me.