By Pat Cunningham
First, an update: Mom’s still in the hospital and we’re scouting nursing homes. Some days she does better than others. We’re taking it a day at a time. I’ll keep you posted.
And now, delayed from last week, this week’s blog.
Lazy creature that I am, my writing tends to be sporadic. I used to stick notes in my journal saying why I hadn’t written anything that day. Finally it hit me: if I’m going to presume to call myself a writer, I should try to write daily, and not just a list of excuses, either. On July 1, 2006, I vowed I would write something every single day, come hell, high water, jobs, illnesses, and pens running dry in the middle of sentences. I haven’t missed a day since.
What do I write? Whatever occurs to me. Scenes, character descriptions, conversations, vignettes, flash. Entries can run anywhere from a couple of paragraphs to several pages if I get rolling. As long as pen meets paper for more than a sentence, I figure I’m good for the day.
So far it’s paid off. It keeps my writing muscles limber and inspires ideas. What I thought was just a throwaway entry sparked my first vampire novel. I expanded another entry into a story I recently sent to an anthology. (They’re still holding it. Cross all fingers.) I have another beginning I want to expand into a full story. Some may already be stories and just need some tweaking to sell to a flash market. Ten bucks is ten bucks.
How about you guys? Do you feel guilty if you don’t write something daily, or doesn’t it bother you? Does anyone else have a stack of spiral-bound notebooks in their closet, or am I the only loonie? Yes, I write on vacations and holidays. I jotted an entry in my purse notebook while sitting in the emergency room last week so I wouldn’t miss a day. Am I nuts, or devoted? You be the judge.