The 10,000 Word Day from Zoe Winters. I’m sure this will be all over the place in the next few days among writers. We’re probably all going to look at that number and judge ourselves and our processes by that number like it’s a yard stick. Some people might be offended despite the author’s attempts to clarify that she is only talking about herself and only talking to the readers to give them a glimpse behind the scenes.
So let me get it out of the way here, the number is amazing, but that isn’t the important part. The important part is that she’s been holding herself back and finally has decided to step out of her way and enjoy the writing rather than just enjoying the outcome. I think that’s the inspirational.
Way back in the day, I used to just write. I had a 486 computer (well, I still have it because it’s one of the things I can’t let go), so there was no internet connection. My only connection to the outside world was the landline phone and the TV, which I kept perpetually on Law and Order or Forensic Files. (What, you’re not shocked that I can be a little macabre.) That was heaven! I used to write to entertain myself, with no consideration of publishing. The whole point was just the act of writing and getting into that zone where nothing else mattered.
Okay, so I’ll admit my stuff was crap. But I was young, and you have to start somewhere. No one starts out perfect. The point was that I just wrote and that’s how I discovered that I really and truly loved it. There was no need for external validation. I had a story to get out, and I did. How many words did I write on those nights I sat down and decided to just do it? I haven’t got a clue because I never counted. It didn’t matter then. All that mattered was that I take time for myself to just write. I’d sit in the chair so long, I’d forget to eat. But in the end, when I finally did get up to take care of myself, I’d actually feel refreshed, like I was doing exactly what I supposed to be doing to live a healthy and balanced life.
Things have changed though, and not just technology-wise. I mean, I could blame the internet for distracting me or depressing me, but since it is just a tool and has no conscious, that’d be a little silly. Being so connected is the most marvelous thing ever and the most terrifying thing ever. I’ve made so many friends, but it’s also easy to get derailed along the way. The important thing to remember is that love of writing and how it feels to just do it with no concern for anything else.