Today you will write 1000 words. You will write these words because it will allow you to shift your universe in one small way.
It’s about making a movement from one place to the next, that’s what sitting down to write has always meant to me. The number is important, of course. The number is something quantifiable. How did I do today? Well, I got my work done. I wrote this many words.
But I think it got easier for me once I began to understand that the word count was just a measure of the time and space available to me on the page. And in that time and space, a shift was possible every day.
Even if it’s just one beautiful scene. One thousand words offered enough room to describe a place or a person, maybe there’d be some chit-chat, and for something else to happen. A choice to be made, possibly. An entrance, an exit. For someone to lift a large object over their head and decide which direction they want to throw it. For someone to see someone else – or themselves – in a new light. For someone to decide they didn’t love somebody anymore. If they ever did in the first place.
What could I make happen during one thousand words? Which way would I nudge the universe? Even with all the mistakes I make on the page during that first rough draft, all the imperfect sentences and ideas, there was still a small push I could give to the story.
And in that shift on the page, there is always a shift in myself. There is a before the words and after the words. I am different because I made this world in the words different. It may not always be clear to me exactly how. Each book I write is an accumulation of small shifts. But I know enough by now to trust that I will always come out the other side different than when I started.
I have been watching you all working and thriving and supporting each other out there. Every day you get up and do your work, and every day you reach out to each other, you are making something happen. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all of you.
Good luck with making a small, beautiful shift today.