Someone said: write ONE page a day. Sounded easy.
But, my situation was different. Unlike everyone else, I had five children. The government didn’t even request me for jury duty anymore!
Two in high school, one in junior high, one in first grade. The last child was three and hung out with me every day. Plus we had Cindy, the cat. And that was the day we ironed and cooked from scratch!! And, I was supposed to write? Are you kidding me?
But soon I discovered something.
Wanting to be a writer and wanting to write were two different things altogether. To be a writer, you had to actually write. You had to put in the time.
I read writers magazines and talked about writing to anyone who would listen. I took classes at the local community college and freelanced smaller non-fiction projects while I continued to read about writing fiction.
If only, I thought, I had a secret formula. Some way to make me write no matter what.
Then I heard that if you write only one page a day, in a year you would have a 365-page book.
“Wow,” I thought “Finally someone told me how to do it.”
Still, how I could find time with five children!! Certainly lots of reasons to not begin. To never try. And I reasoned with myself that I could find lots of reasons to throw in the towel after I started. Amazing how many reasons there could be to quit.
But one morning I changed my attitude. I set the alarm for 5 a.m.
I made a cup of coffee and went to my computer and wrote my very first page. I began writing one hour, one page a day. Before I knew it, I had 14 pages written. And then I had more. And that was how my very first full length book was born.
After I wrote my first book, someone said, “Well, it usually takes five or six books to get good enough to get published. So I kept writing.
I jump out of bed sometimes at 2:30 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. if I can sleep that late. I begin work almost immediately. And the joy I have received is immeasurable.
Now this doesn’t mean everyone has to write at the crack of dawn. Some like to write late into the night. I just happen to be my best early in the morning when the birds are chirping.
I have a few manuscripts stacked up, but here’s what’s great. I can see my own improvement.
Following another tip someone gave me, I regularly attend seminars and conferences and have a bevy of friends encouraging me.
I belong to the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Sisters In Crime, Society of Professional Journalists and the Denver Press Club.
I’ve learned one thing I can pass on to you new writers.
You have to make up your own rules and create your own social network of writing friends. It starts with taking one class, making one writing friend. Or joining one organization and again, making one writing friend.
So I’m throwing out a challenge. Quit procrastinating, go to your computer every day. Write one hour, write one page.
Do it for a week and let us all hear from you when you have seven pages. Tell us how it made you feel.
Just write. Write anything. You’ve got seven days this week. Go!
(Thanks Pinterest for photo.)