I took a tremendous leap forward yesterday. I wrote 1,205 words. I'm not talking about revising old ones. I'm talking brand spanking new ones.
Big deal, you say. What's a measly 1,200 words? Well, when you haven't written a new word in months it is a very big deal, my friends. At least for me. For a lot of reasons, the last several months have seen me do everything and anything except write. I can blame it on a number of things and I have. All legitimate reasons for not writing. Seriously, my life outside of writing is a huge, messy, time-consuming vortex right now that has been sucking all creativity out of me. I have not been in a happy writing place as a result.
But no matter the excuse, the only way to pull yourself out of that place is by doing one thing: writing that first new word. But I also know that it can't just be any writing for any story or situation. I have been struggling to find the right story, the right characters that I care enough about, that are strong enough to pull me out of my messy vortex of life. I found that story this week when I began re-reading something I'd started a few years ago and stopped mid-way through. I was reading that story again, enjoying it and the characters when it suddenly stopped. Dang it. I wanted to know what happened to these people! I was mad at myself for stopping this story all those years ago. I remember I stopped writing it right around the time I was getting interest in Illegally Blonde and was getting distracted by submission/agent/editor stuff. I'd also heard of a slightly similar story premise that had just been published. Between the IB action and that irritation of hearing about a story like mine (which turned out to be nothing like mine) my writing flow on this story was interrupted enough to make me put it aside. Well, stupid me.
I have always wondered why I don't throw away the half-finished (or half-started, depending on your point of view) stories that sit on my computer hard drive (or scribbled in my journals). Now I know. They are waiting for the right (write?) time to be finished. They sit, their characters waiting for me to face the next page, to fill it with one word, then two, until I string enough of them together to start leading the characters through what will be their world.
The journey of a thousand words begins with one word, true. But it also must continue day after day until you reach the end. If I do a thousand words a day for the next 30 days I will, hopefully, reach that end. I wrote 1,664 words today. Let's hope this story and these characters continue to keep me away from the vortex.