Day 6 of #1000wordsofsummer 2019
|Jami Attenberg||Nov 25, 2019|
Today you will write 1000 words. You will stop pretending that the idea of a distraction (say, the internet) is more powerful than your mind or your intentions. You are stronger than that, and you are hungrier than that. Recognize that your desires to write and be productive are more relevant to your happiness than whatever insignificant diversion you claim is preventing you from doing your work. Fuck your distractions. Go write already.
There are eight days left. What will you do with them? For me, I plan to look at all the chapters I've started but haven't finished yet. I've spent so much time brainstorming ideas, but I haven't brought any of them to completion yet. My exercise for the day will be to start writing the second half of one of them. Committing not just to writing every day, but to my ideas, too. Or at least one of them. All you need is one good idea to start a fire.
Today’s guest contributor is Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of the romance novels The Proposal, The Wedding Date, and The Wedding Party, which comes out July 16. Jasmine is an inspiration. For years she worked as a lawyer, writing on the side, until finally she wrote herself straight into a new career as a full-time author. Another book, Royal Holiday, will be published in October.
“Last year’s #1000wordsofsummer hit me at exactly the right time. I was in the middle of the draft for my third book, and everything about it was harder than anything I’d written before. It was moving slower, it was taking me longer to figure out the characters, and the voice in my head telling me no one would like it was louder and louder.
But then #1000wordsofsummer came along, and it was the kick in the pants I needed. I just went back to look at my writing spreadsheet/mini writing journal for that draft, and on the third day of 1000 words of summer I wrote ‘spent hours and hours today having a meltdown about this book, but then just made myself fucking work on it and I got a lot done.’ I spent the next few months just making myself fucking work on it (whether I had a meltdown or not).
There are a lot of things that go along with writing for me: anxiety; stress; uncertainty; confusion. There’s also hope and joy and wonder and celebration, too, but the other things can sometimes drown the good parts out. But I’ve realized there’s so much of this writing life I can’t control – if people like my book, if people review my book well (or at all), if people buy my book, if people understand my book, the list goes on. But the one thing I can control is the work. I can make myself sit down and do the work, 1000 words at a time. And I’ve realized my goal in doing this work is to write a book that I love, and one that I’m proud of, and I control that, too. Realizing all of that pushed me on to finish the draft of that book, and after five or six (or maybe more, I lose count) more drafts, that book comes out next month. I hope other people like it, but I already know I do.
And now I’m working on something brand new, 1000 words at a time. I’m going to do that today. Let’s get to work.”
You heard her.