Show Up at the Page
July 22, 2019
I’ve known I wanted to write something around my theme (love and money) since I first took an interest in writing about twenty years ago, but I also felt I needed to develop my craft first. After a few shorter publications, I decided to finally take the manuscript I’m currently working on as my main writing project about three years ago.
I write each morning starting at 8am (just after my child boards his school bus) until 10am (when I have to leave for my day job). I try to “show up at the page” no matter what. I aim for 750 words a day, whether or not that is “loose” writing or words that may actually make it to the final draft. For a while there I was giving myself late slips if I showed up after 8am! The one advantage of being a single working mother and writer is that I can’t waste time.
I’m confident that feedback from Farzana on my big ugly beast of a first(ish) draft will save me much pain during my (still inevitably painful) revision process. I also think this amazing chance to pick the brain of an experienced novelist will generally make me a better writer.
If I could choose one author to write a book about my life, I’d pick Elizabeth Strout because she’d probably have the most compassion!
In a perfect world, of which I was the ruler of all, I would still somehow want the hardest working writers to succeed, so there would be trials of strength in my courtyard they’d have to pass. Yet I’d also want the most sincere, talented, and low-ego writers to succeed, so I’d need magical pixies to pick them out of the forest and give them a cheat sheet on how to pass my tests.
Ten years from now, I hope I will have published a novel that many people find helpful or enriching. I also hope I will have shifted my working hours toward more writing time. Leading up to that, maybe the highlight would be the individual feedback from readers about what my writing did for them. Maybe the low point would be the number of rejections leading up to publication, or the wacky things some people will always say about anyone’s work.