Friday, October 11, 2019

When 200 Words Will Do

I love to write but the words don't flow like they used to. A few years ago I was hit hard by writer's block while working on something with Peter Kaufman. Peter was kind and bighearted and offered soothing advice. "Little by little" he said to me, and those were the right words at the right time. I still struggled to get the words out but I wrote what I could, even if it took hours to write a few decent paragraphs.

I busted out of my writer's block after a good night out drinking with my best friend, a night that inspired a short story "Oil on Canvas" that was published at the Sociological Review site.

Since then I've been able to get myself in a better writing groove, though it's much more slow going than what I used to produce years ago. I'll take what I can get. I write when I'm moved. There are countless documents to nowhere. Sometimes the words don't add up. Sometimes they do.

I had some weird dreams last night and hit the couch around 2:00 this morning. I typed some words using Notes on my iPhone. It's become one of my favorite ways to not lose words. Before iPhones I made a habit of keeping a notebook in my car so I could scribble down a thought before I'd lose it. I like to drive. I have a 45 minute ride to work and there's usually sentences that pop into my head, so I write them down while I'm driving. Back to the early hours of this morning...I tapped in more words into Notes, drifted off to sleep, and during the drive to work I wrote more words into my notebook. Older habits meeting new habits.

I'm excited because this is the start to a story I've been trying to write for many years. I've never been able to start it in a way that felt good. I looked at the words on my phone and they seemed like a lot. I uploaded the text to my computer to put them in a Word document. Altogether today I wrote 200 words of the story. I would have guessed I wrote more. But that's okay. I like what I've written so far. Little by little I'll get there. 200 words will do.