Monday, January 02, 2012
Six Years Baby!
Yep, that's how long I've been writing. I mean the creative stuff, the novels and poems and short stories. Six years today I rested my laptop on my knees and began BRIGHTER THAN BRIGHT, a story that took my character Benjamin and I longer and further than I ever imagined.
Writing back then, I felt a tad insane--I had never felt so compelled to do something. But writing then was a compulsion, one that kept me writing 3, 4, 5 hours after my children and husband went to sleep. I think of those first 4 months as a manic rush to get Benjamin's story down, before the words dried up. That first very naive draft ended up at 183,000 words. Since then, the story has taken many turns, adding the second perspective of Phoebe, murdering a handful of secondary characters, interweaving multiple subplots, hacking out more than 80,000 words. The novel is finished--for now--though I contemplate yet another drastic surgery.
Six years is a long time. I figure since then I have written more than half-a-million new words. And probably three times more words rewritten in the revisions. These words find form in 2 full novel, 1 partially-completed novel, 72 micro-fictions, a dozen short stories, and 135 poems. Oh, and 505 blog posts on this blog. Them's a lot of words. A lot of hours. In OUTLIERS, his ground-breaking book about the exceptional, Malcolm Gladwell says to become good at something you need to practice it for 10,000 hours. By my own estimates, I figure I write between 1,500 and 2,000 hours a year. I am good writer, certainly better than I was this day six years ago, but I still have a long way to travel to great.
And that's okay. My heart trills when I see the progress I've made as a novelist, a short story writer, a poet. Writing still brings me joy--joy in the product but more, joy in the process. I love the challenge each new idea brings me. I like to think it keeps me young in my soul if not in the body.
Thank you for following my writing journey, for sharing your words and thoughts. Here's to another six years, baby!
And for those of you looking for my second small stone, please go==>HERE.