As you know, we recently moved. The upstairs of our house is still being remodeled. Our selves and our stuff is relegated to floor number one. I have no privacy, no office, few office supplies, and only a few books unpacked.
But, thank the sweet Lord Jesus, after that horrific week of nap strikes, The Boy is back to sleeping in the afternoon.
Time to write, Naptime Novelist!
Write today. Not tomorrow, or next month, when conditions are theoretically ideal. Not when I have an office (though that’d be nice). Not when the house is painted (though that’d be nice, too).
If I truly believe that I have a vocation as a writer, then I had better show up for work like the rest of the world’s working stiffs. My husband does not get a pass on work just because the sink needs fixing and the yard needs weeding. He shows up. And so must I.*
Week One: 300 words a day, six days of writing, 1,800 words total.
Week Two: 400 words a day, six days of writing, 2,400 words for the week, 4,200 words total.
Weeks Three – Nine: 500 words a day, six days of writing each week, 3,000 words each week, 25,200 words.
25,200 words is one small novel.
I have two days under my belt. 600 words since starting up again, plus reams of material previously written to sort through some other time.
Guess what? 300 words is nothing. Nada. Zilch. And yet, Dodds directs me to STOP at 300, make a quick plan for the morrow, and leave it there. Why? So as to prime the pump for the next day, avoid burnout, and maintain manageable expectations. Some people can write a novel overnight, but I cannot. The story is in my head, but its details must come out steadily over the course of time. A little every day a novel will make – so goes the arithmetic.
Reality check: I have plenty of time to write. Perhaps it doesn’t feel like it, but I do. Not only can I write while The Boy naps, but I also have an evening or two a week when my husband lets me out of the domestic cage for coffee shop time. Plus mornings and nights, when I can manage it.
On the contrary, my cousin John, a writing major at the University of Oregon, with no wife and no kids, has about half the actual writing time I have. Now, he produces ten times the verbiage that I do, but… I have more time. So there. Blessings counted.
Speaking of schools… remember when I was debating the best way to really learn the craft? I have an answer now. We get one-hundred percent tuition remission – no waiting period, like I thought – for classes at the small college where my husband now teaches.
Free is golden. Free means the decision has been made for me. We have enough student loans as it is.
In case you missed it… here is my August article at CatholicMom.com. Say a prayer that inspiration strikes for September.