Day 5 of #1000wordsofsummer 2020 August edition

The Little Switch

Hi friends,

Today you will write 1000 words. Because it is a gesture of faith in yourself, to write these words, and a gesture of faith in your ideas. When you sit down to write, you are saying you believe in yourself, and that you have a story inside you worth telling. And that you are capable of doing it.

Did you know that when I write these letters to you I am also writing them to myself? The “you” is me as much as it is you. Because there is never a day I don’t have to say to myself when I start work, “You will write these words today. You can write these words today.” Even if it is just for a moment, in the quiet, inside voice in my head.

Yes, even if I have left myself the greatest set-up in the world the night before — the juiciest cliffhanger, or the most interesting moral question, or I’ve set my characters down at a table right before a delicious meal gets served, or two characters are about to have sex for the first time, their buttons just unbuttoned — even if I’m on the verge of writing the most fun or important moment of a story, I still have to flip a little switch inside, one that says, “You got this.”

I’ve written here before about writing feeling like playtime for me. I am someone who views the empty page as an opportunity. I am that kind of writer, the one who thinks, “What kind of fun are we going to have today?” But I promise you I still understand that it is an empty page. And I still need to tell myself to fill it, that I can fill it.

I say it to myself, and I say it to you. You can write these words.

Tonight is the final chat over at Loyalty Books, and it will be with Laura van den Berg, author of the exquisite new story collection, I Hold A Wolf By Its Ears. Laura has asked that you consider donating to this incredible organization.

Have a great writing day.

Save the post office.