Day thirty-six of My 365 Day Writing Project.
Time: 2 + hours
Well, it happened. On day 34, I didn’t do any writing. I was on a mini vacation with my family and we had a full day with good friends. By the time I had a moment to myself…well, wait – I never did have a moment to myself. I went to sleep late with two out of three kids in my bed and that’s the end of the story. The funny thing is, I didn’t feel badly about losing a day of writing. Instead, I woke up the next morning determined to write more than usual for the rest of the long weekend. And I did. I wrote 1,500 words yesterday and 2,400 today, amply making it up. I’m happy with that.
Not writing for a day for the first time in 34 days got me thinking about how far I have come in that time. Writing daily has not yet become a habit, but it has become a solid priority. I have to work hard at it. Finding time to write is not easy for me. While I can’t deny that I feel a bit of guilt for not abiding by the no days off mantra this past weekend, I have to cut myself some slack. My main goal in doing this project is to make writing a constant in my life and to consistently work on it. As of today (day 36) I’m accomplishing that.
If you wish to be a writer, write. – Epictetus
Here is a raw, unedited snippet from my current piece of fiction:
She gathered herself, opened the bathroom door and walked straight to the back of the restaurant. The dining room was dark and alive with lunch-goers talking politics, weather and holiday plans. Waiters were hovering around the waitstaff station, entering orders and pouring glasses of water. Skylar saw the door to the kitchen behind the waitstaff station. Just go in. She took a deep breath and walked past the waiters into the bright white light of the kitchen.
Inside it was hot and noisy. Steam was rising from the dishwasher station in the back and line cooks were plating food and yelling table numbers to the servers. Skylar walked slowly through the commotion, looking side to side in case anyone might approach her. No one did. As she neared the back she stopped by a large walk-in cooler at the end of a short hallway. On either side it was bordered by shelves filled with non-perishable bulk food items. There, standing by a mop and bucket in the shadows, was Ben. He stepped out into the light and gave her a polite nod.
“Hi,” he said.
“Hi,” said Skylar, looking back over her shoulder to see if anyone else was there. They were alone. Ben was not much taller than she, wearing brown corduroy pants and a grey hooded sweatshirt. He had dark brown hair that was a little too long and very curly. His chin, jawline and upper lip were covered in dark stubble, as though he had not shaved in days. Skylar thought he looked much the same as he did in high school, just older. His eyes showed strain and worry.
“You don’t have to be afraid,” he said, noting her nervousness. “I’m not going to hurt you. I promise. I want you to be safe,” he said, taking a step toward her as she took a step back. “I see…I see that you have been in contact with them. They haven’t hurt you, have they?” He looked genuinely concerned.
“No. But I was followed,” she began, Ben’s eyes flying open as he leaned to one side to peer past her. “No, not here,” she continued, “I am pretty sure I wasn’t followed here. I mean, I lost him. He was following me earlier. I lost him in the subway.”