First off, if you haven’t visited the comments on my audiobook post, go! The comments are utterly chockablock with audiobook recommendations. I have such resourceful, generous readers! I can almost guarantee that you will be compelled to follow up your visit to those comments with a visit to your local library website. (And if you haven’t left a comment yet, it’s not too late! I find that people come back and read this particular sort of post long after it’s been published, so please jump on in.)
I had a little anniversary a few days back. It’s been two years since I started this blog. Which I know because every summer, for the past three years, I’ve had a week or two in which each of my kids was enrolled in some camp or another, and I used the time to work on my writing. Having a week of days to oneself is quite a gift, as any of you who are fellow homeschoolers or otherwise busy parents understand. Anyway, during that week two years ago I sorta worked at my writing. Mostly I got this blog up and going. I wrote about it in my second post ever. And then I did it again last year. Hard to believe it’s here once more, my solo week of the summer. I looked forward to this week especially this year, what with all the recent excitement of graduations and world travels. I haven’t been writing much.
Lulu is off at sleep-away camp, and Mr. T at a day camp in the redwoods. And H, well, H is eighteen and hardly around here these days anyway. Sad but true.
So on Monday morning, I sat down at my computer. Inspired by a post from Ysolda, I set myself up with a pot of strong black tea.
And I spent hours researching the audiobook topic I’d planned to write about.
Well, that isn’t entirely true. I also did some freewriting on my topic. And I made a crazy web of ideas showing the main ideas I hoped to include, and how they connected to each other.
But I didn’t do much writing. By Tuesday night I was feeling dispirited, worrying that I was frittering away my one writing week of the year. Then I listened to this interview with Ann Lamott, one of my favorite writers, on Writers on Writing, one of my favorite podcasts.
At the end of the interview, she tells how she gets her writing done, and how she plans to get started as soon as the interview is finished.
“So I’m going to sit down, and my work’s going to not go all that well, but I’m going to stick with it. And I’m going to budget a certain number of hours. Today I’m going to budget three hours and that means I’ll get about two hours and fifteen minutes done. I usually budget four and that can get about two hours and forty-five minutes. I have a habit. I have a habit of very gently convincing myself to stick to it, until I get closer and closer to what I had in mind all along.”
It was what I needed to hear. The next day I sat down and wrote. And it didn’t go all that well, but I stuck with it. I tried not to get on the internet to look up audiobook sales figures, or previous audiobook articles. I didn’t check my email, or my flickr page, and I definitely didn’t mess around on this blog until I’d written for three hours.
And then I did the same thing on Thursday. And Friday. I’d love to say that I have a whole article written now, but I don’t. I write slowly. I understand that about myself. But I did make progress, and I’m getting closer and closer to what I had in mind all along. And, well, that’s something.