Laurie Halse Anderson, author extraordinaire of Speak and Catalsyt and countless others, runs a project every August called WFMAD. It stands for Write Fifteen Minutes A Day, so for each of the thirty-days in August, you're supposed to do just that. She gives prompts, but you don't have to follow along. All that matters is that you write. For fifteen minutes. Every day.
I decided to give it a shot. LHA should advertise WFMAD as "The same great taste as NaNoWriMo without all of the crushing social pressure!" Dan helped out by keeping me on track whenever I veered. I'd say I wrote for about 3/4ths of the month. That's pretty good considering that the months before were more like 1 in 10. I'd rather work on being consecrated to writing than just paying my writing tithe.
Here are five quick things I learned about myself and about the written word during these hazy, lazy days of summer.
1. I have two projects I'm working on. I love being able to switch from one to the next. I don't have a favorite, like how I presume it is with your children, but I do have one that I like more on some days. Other days, the second story wins me over. (Confidential to the million other ideas I have: Pipe down! I'll get to you later!)
2. Writing simply does not happen on the weekends for me. Either I am going to need to summon the willpower to change that fact or just accept it.
3. I write on my laptop, which is also where I do my internet-ing. This poses a problem.
4. It can be extremely frustrating to go from reading a polished work by an established author and then turning right around and trying to write something of your own. Laini Taylor, I love you, but I don't think I can read you when I'm going to be writing within an hour of reading you. I think it's for the best if I keep my reading life and my writing life separated for now.
5. Writing is HARD, you guys. You have to, like, make stuff up and junk. Dorothy Parker, in all her wit and wisdom, purportedly said, "I hate writing, but I love having written." Writing can be fairly excruciating sometimes. (Not all the time, but occasionally.) Then afterward there's that glorious feeling of realizing that out of nothing, you have put something on the page. Of realizing that you have complete ownership of those words. Of clicking save and opening it up the next day to create more.
There's so much I still need to learn, so let's try this again for September, shall we?