Day 168 – Write another day tomorrow

Day one hundred sixty-eight of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words for days 167 and 168: 600

My weekend was go go go until dinner time tonight, so I didn’t write much yesterday and today. I wish I could write more tonight but I need to get some rest. I might fall asleep standing up if I don’t. And let’s face it, I’m not exactly writing stellar material when I’m this tired.

It’s a fine skill to have to know when to quit. It can be a real balancing act because commitment and ambition to succeed do not go hand-in-hand with quitting. But then again, if you’re just quitting until tomorrow, it isn’t so much the application of skill as it is good sense. It’s okay to quit earlier than normal. All that matters is that you pick it up again and write another day tomorrow.

Day 162 – Standing, it is

Day one hundred sixty-two of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

Tonight was a short session of writing for a couple of reasons. First, it was my birthday and we had a house-full of family over for dinner and birthday cake, which means I’m exhausted and stuffed to the gills with cake and ice cream. Secondly, despite how great standing up while writing has been working for me, I decided to sit down on the couch to write tonight. Big mistake. HUGE. (name that movie.)

Naturally, I have been nodding off left and right while trying to write. Newsflash to self: you can’t write when you’re asleep. At best you might get a long string of “LLLL’s” or some other letter as your head bobs and fingers press random keys. This notion of staying awake to write is not a complex one. I had it all figured out and then foolishly decided to try something else. Well, no more. Tomorrow, it’s back to standing.

Day 129 – Stay solid and on track

Day one hundred twenty-nine of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

I again had to fight the urge to go straight to bed tonight instead of writing. When I get like that I resort to giving myself little pep talks, saying things like, “just sit down and write,” “stay solid,” and “stay on track.” Thankfully, it works. I sat down and wrote. Only 500 words, but that’s a little over a page I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t.

Staying solid and on track is so important. Not simply to make progress on your writing, but also to encourage yourself. To be able to acknowledge and even celebrate what you accomplished each day leading up to today will help drive your ambition tomorrow. Be your own inspiration. Even when you’re tired.

Day 115 – Write, but get your rest too

Day one hundred fifteen of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500 plus 800 for Day 114 for a two-day total of 1,300.

Last night I picked up my parents from the airport. Their flight was delayed and by the time they arrived and we returned back home, it was after 1:00 A.M. I wrote a little before I left for the airport, a little more in the car while I waited for them to land, and then I wrote some more after I returned home. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

Tonight, I am exhausted. I quit writing after only 500 words in order to get some rest. Trying to write while I’m nodding off every ninety seconds is foolish. So I’m calling it a night. Write every day, but be sure to get your rest too.

Day 106 – In like a lion, out like a lamb

Day one hundred six of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 900

I felt in a good flow from the moment I started writing tonight. The first 500 words came easily. As most writers would agree, sometimes the flow just happens. Then something strange occurred. As I wrote, the flow seemed to dwindle. The next 400 words came much, much slower. It usually is just the opposite for me. I usually start out slow but then pick up into a nice steady pace. Not tonight.

One reason for this flip in productivity is the fact that I kept nodding off every few minutes. Not helpful. Another reason is the content of the story. I reached a moment in the book where I really did not know where to go with it. I staggered. Not being sure-footed in the direction of the story definitely impacts one’s flow in the writing. But one must push on through. So I did, albeit slowly.

Because I left the story like a lamb tonight, I decided to stop mid-sentence. I have never done that before but have read that some writers prefer to jump right into the middle of a sentence when they start writing each day. I’ll let you know how that works for me tomorrow.

Day 102 – Writing makes me happy

Day one hundred two of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,100

I was talking on the phone with my cousin today when she asked me how my writing is going. Before I answered her, I found myself smiling. I was holding the phone to my ear in that second-or-so between the question and the answer, and I was smiling a big, goofy smile that no one saw.

That smile stuck with me all day. No, I didn’t smile a big, goofy smile all day. I thought about that smile all day. But when I sat down at my computer to write again tonight, that big, goofy smile returned. It is no wonder I write every day. It is no wonder I skip sleep so I can write. It’s quite simple. Writing makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy because when I write, it feels like I’m doing what I was born to do.

– James Prescott

Day 100 – Sweet and glorious progress

Day one hundred of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 600

Out of the many lessons I am learning from the process of writing for 365 days, one of my favorites is the lesson that every baby step of progress is just as valuable as every big step. I write late at night, which means every night when I go to bed, I fall deep into my slumber with a buoyant conscience and a happy heart for having made more progress toward my goal. It’s the same feeling on the nights when I write a small amount as it is on those when I write a lot. Sure, I get less sleep because I stay up late, but the quality of the hours of sleep I do get is amazing. I haven’t slept this well since…well, I don’t remember ever sleeping this well.

Hitting the 100 mark is progress that is sweet and glorious. I’m into the triple digits now. I have come a long way. Most importantly, I don’t show any signs of slowing down. My motivation has remained steady and true for 100 days. Now that’s something.

What is also something is that I now have a working first draft of a manuscript that is about two-thirds completed. That feels unreal to me, since I have never been able to get past a handful of chapters in the past. Currently, I’m writing Chapter 12. It’s real. And it’s sweet and glorious progress.

I write a lot on this blog about the process, which I think is going to prove to be more fulfilling than the finished product itself, once it’s done. Only time will tell. For now, I’m looking forward to seeing where things are at Day 200.

Day 86 – From a power nap came a great idea

Day eighty-six of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

While I was writing tonight (okay, I had only written one paragraph and was kind of stuck) I nodded off for a bit. Maybe ten minutes. When I woke, I suddenly had a great idea for the story. Just like that, I was off like a shot and steadily wrote another 450 words. I probably could have continued to write more but I really need to get some sleep. And I’m pleased with what I got done.

I once read somewhere that great ideas come about when the mind is at rest. Sleep can spark creativity. It certainly seemed true for me tonight, even if it was a short power nap and a short session of writing. I think I’ll try it more often.