See that link to your left? The one that says “Writing Stats”? It’s a page I updated regularly for about six months last year, when I was finishing The Secret War, which I thought I’d finish in October, and actually finished in December. (It used to be at the top of my blog, but this month it’s on the side because it’s DECEMBER! Time for the holiday template.)
When I read over this writing record, what struck me the most is how things don’t always go the way you plan, and often that’s because your plan asks for too much, too soon. Still, it is very encouraging that even though things don’t go according to plan, they do get done.
Part of my plan involves writing regularly. A month ago, I went to see Richard Russo give a lecture in San Francisco. One thing he said was that he doesn’t try to write more than two pages a day. Before he said that he warned the audience that he was going to sound very, very lazy. And maybe it is — but it’s do-able, and after a year you have what is basically a novel. So maybe I’ll try for two pages a day. They don’t even have to be decent pages — at least, that’s what Richard Russo claimed and I like him, so am going with that.
And now, planners of the blog world, I want to see how you plan — how you sketch out your path to a destination. Mine’ll be up tomorrow, with any luck.
Debbie, who perservered through years of raising children, moving a couple of times, designing and remodelling a house and still found a publisher for her book, Scribble, which is the most wonderful picture book and a fabulous holiday gift for children and is available here. Debbie is also one of my oldest friends, knows what I looked like when I was eighteen (god!), knows where my skeletons are buried, and still lets me come visit her in Connecticut. She has bee-you-tea-ful handwriting, is an architect by training and I’m just guessing her plans are works of art.
Gail, who manages huge projects in her job, and looks like she is completely untroubled by all that responsibility and who, besides, has been a kind, quiet, and very effective reader of pretty much everything I have ever written.
Mike, the writer of the first blog I ever read, and a man I admire hugely
Nova, whose blog about writing always, always makes me glad I stumbled across her one day when I was clicking on that “next blog” button on wordpress.
unrelaxed dad, who is actually pretty relaxed and is about to have a baby! YAY! babies rule.
Pauline, who is so elegant a writer and thinker
HMH, who cracks me up and is sensible, canny, and encouraging. It must be because she goes out there and gets her hands dirty.
Susan, who writes so beautifully and lives in my neck of the woods!
Sandi, who has written and published some of the funniest books I know and who has been encouraging and so kind because she knows how to write emails that sound exactly like I think she must talk
aerophant, who blogs every single day and sometimes twice a day — things that are so suggestive and funny that you know the rest of her writing must be wonderful too.
The litkit, who’s got a plan to get her writing done soon! (yay LK) And my neighbor too.
Bikeprof who suddenly produced an entire novel in a thrilling six month or so period and is now sending it out and enduring the slings and arrows of rejection
Dorothy who reads and writes about her reading and teaches and rides a bike and is so kind
Ben, who works in my building and has the richest life — full of beer, and dogs and writing and funny, true observations
Jeff, one of my favorite Canadian guys. He’s very funny, and loves hockey and is passionate about his life.