“The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.” Anne Lamott
I have this quote set as a reminder on my phone each
Saturday morning. The words always make me smile and nod. “You’re so right,
I usually write on Saturdays because I don’t have the energy
after a day of work. I know there are writers who get up at 5 in the morning to
get in their hour or 1000 words before work, but I have a demanding job that
uses up every ounce of my body and brain. Fortunately, I have summers off. I do
a lot of writing in the summer. And even though I’m not getting up at 5 in the
morning to write (I get up at 5 in the morning to worry! Pointlessly! With no pay!)
I’ve still managed to write 12 books in 25 years.
I look forward to my writing day throughout the week. It’s a
bright star shining on my horizon. But when I open my eyes on Saturday the dread
sets in. “I could skip today. I’m fine. I’ll still get the book done. I was
stuck in a boring place. I’d rather read.” One or all of these thoughts might
flash through my mind as I lay in bed and don’t get up.
Eventually, I make coffee, cook an egg, make toast, read
something, and then dig out my computer. Sometimes I beat Anne Lamott’s quote
and say, “You were so right, Anne!” Other times, the quote beats me, and I say “I'll get on that, Anne!” Butts in chairs. (That’s one of hers too.)
When I started writing, my computer took at least ten minutes to start. That’s a lot of time to waste. Now, in seconds, my computer is running, and my latest project is open. I quickly reread the last paragraph or two. “Oh yeah. . .”
Some days I get going immediately. Other days I take more time.
I might need to do some research. Historical fictions takes more research. You
might write a sentence and then think “If they didn’t have running water, how did they get water in winter? What were the stoves like?” It’s
fine to research. Google is right there on your computer. Do some research. Get
it right. Just don’t wallow.