A wise man said, “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” The point being? If you wait for perfect conditions, you will wait… and wait… and wait…. and never get started.
I’ve had people ask me, do you wait for inspiration strike before you write? My answer: do you wait for inspiration to strike before you go to work?
This week seemed like perfect conditions for writing: a week to myself in the city of Hemingway, the fridge fully stocked, no shortage of coffee, and plenty of cafés and coffee shops to choose from. I set my goal–15,000 words, 3,000 words a day–and set to work.
The curve ball I didn’t see coming: feeling pretty lousy for half the week. Suddenly conditions were no longer perfect. Who cares that it’s Paris, I don’t even want to go outside!
I was hoping to get a lot of writing done in the mornings. It didn’t work out that way; instead I ended up writing through the afternoon (usually my least creative time) and well into the evening.
I wanted to try new places in Paris and get back to some others I hadn’t been to in a while. That didn’t really work out either. Who wants to sit in a café–or a library–hacking and coughing and generally being a public health hazard?
So it didn’t go like I’d imagined. But it did go, I got through it, made it to the end, made my goal. And what was the result? Too much to describe here (it would take about 15,000 words…), but some good progress… and some utter junk.
Like the parts that were just filler words; literally writing things like: “Oh here’s an idea… etc. etc.” or “I need to rethink this part” or “This character needs to…” Some of it was lists of ideas (most of them dumb) until I got to the one that worked.
And that’s okay. I’ve read plenty of articles on how to free write where the encouragement is given to just put the pen to the paper (or fingers on the keys) and start writing, even if it’s just “I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write.” Because as you keep writing, keep typing, eventually words that start to make sense start hitting the page. It really works.
So, the Audacious Writing Week is in the books. Tomorrow is another day. And I’ll be writing.