The clean scents of lime and kiwi shampoo and cucumber and agave body wash strip away the salty musk of the gym. I stood in this same spot 14 hours ago as I struggled to start my day. This time the water is cool, counteracting a day of heat and humidity.
In a clean set of pajamas, I sit at my keyboard, and wait for the tablet to boot up. I pop piece of diced watermelon into my mouth and the pop and crunch of each bite releases cold juice as it is reduced to a grainy pulp.
This is my second post of the day. I have been posting twice a day for a week now. I try to keep them short, around 500 words, but that means I am writing about 1000 words a day. Has it been worth it? Well, I am a writer, writing 1000 words a day. For a while, I struggled to write: my book, academic articles. Sometimes my perfectionist brain gets in the way. There is a big difference between 1000 words and 1000 publishable words.
As a composition instructor and a writing coach, I always tell students that perfection doesn’t matter with the first draft, just get something down on paper. Funny how we can give advice better than we can take it.
My blog is different. I don’t worry about structure or audience, rhetorical devices or literary themes. I’m just having an ongoing conversation with the universe. I play with words and thoughts the way one might arrange wild flowers in an empty bottle. Should I feel guilty for such self-indulgent “selfies.” I don’t think so.
Writing 1000 words a day, whether they are part of a novel, article, or blog is still an accomplishment. It takes dedication to sit your butt down each day and just write, no matter what. The consistent crafting of words also refines your skills, no matter what you are writing about. Am I taking time away from “more important” projects? I don’t think so. I usually don’t do structured writing first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, when my mind is lazy or unruly. This is my time to just let words flow.
Most importantly, writing 1000 words a day proves I can do it to the only person I need to convince . . . me. Now, I believe I can do it, and I can do it easily. My fingers fly across the keyboard catching my thoughts as fast as they come, no stopping and over thinking, stacking ideas and images like a child balancing building blocks. “Look at what I can do!” I say to myself with innocent pride. Perhaps the balance is a little off here and there, perhaps my little castle will collapse with the next sentence, but that’s ok. Tomorrow morning, I will start again. It’s not about the product, it’s about the play.