Seeing the new growth emerge reminds me of what’s happening in my life as a writer.
It used to be nothing. I wrote only when I wasn’t teaching, maybe 13 weeks a year. Eh, you can see how many books that plan has produced.
But in January I took myself in hand, joined Jeff Goins’ 500 Word Challenge Facebook group, and committed to write. Yes, write, every single day. No matter that I felt brain dead, or inadequate, or wiped out from teaching. I was going to produce words, even stupid words or mindless rambling words, daily.
The gardener in me knew that week by solitary week, a book would grow. Okay, so I’ve missed some days, but I’ve plugged along. This weekend I will finish yet another chapter. That’s six chapters beyond my gloomy January start. I need 12 to 15 more—or maybe more like 20—before Darcy By Any Other Name can be released.
Robin says I’ve been learning discipline. That seems awfully basic, but she’s right. I’m learning to work it, consistently and stubbornly, even though there just isn’t time.
“I heard a preacher say recently that hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.” (Ann Lamott)
For ducks, I’ll just mention that you can find the in-progress version of Darcy By Any Other Name at Beyond Austen, a free online fiction forum. The published book will be different, of course, since at this point I’m experimenting with various ideas. But it’s a fun, unexpected premise.
And, yes, I know. This is me, writing Darcy, a thing I thought would never happen. But then, this is anything but the typical Darcy story.