On a good day I read and I write, and starting tomorrow afternoon, I swim. I am trying something new this summer and it’s working so well. I have lowered my expectation of writing 1000 words a day and aim for 250, most days I do more, every day (except weekends) I hit my goal. The best thing about this, besides the words and pages that are starting to add up (I’ve got 14, which isn’t much but still!) is this technique is slowing down my writing. I always tend to write very quickly, I think that’s partly because I type so quickly and have since I was in second grade (more on that in another post) but also because when I sit down to write there is so much to get down on the page. This leads to a lack of control in quality but it definitely works in starting (but not finishing) shitty first drafts. However, right now with my 250 words a day, I am staying longer in the moment, in a scene, in a description. There isn’t a point to look ahead because I won’t be getting there today. And this is how I’m going to finish this shitty first draft, a novel about a young woman named Flora.
And writing these words a day is making it feel so much better to come here.
As for the reading, lately I have loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls. I’ve never been a huge fan of her non-fiction but her novels are among the best. If Eat, Pray, Love has kept you from devouring them, please get over it and pick them up. I loved, loved Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones, which is so different and so wonderful from any other book I’ve ever read and I was heartbroken when it ended. Autopsy of a Boring Wife was terrific and funny and not at all unhappy, written by Marie-Renee Lavoie. And I just finished Kate Atkinson’s Transcription which I gobbled up over the long weekend and loved so much because it was exactly what I wanted to read – a British spy novel with twists and a sarcastic and witty protagonist.
And that’s only been the past two weeks, things are off to a good start thanks to low expectations.