Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time to finish my book (oh no!) More days of 100

Time to finish my book (oh no) More days of 100
gesso, acrylic, marker, pen on paper. Journal.

1/100: 40 minutes. page 2 of third draft of Mythos. All new writing.

Well, I made myself write last night, an hour or so before midnight. I didn't get one hour in, but at this point, at the beginning of my process, I am okay with that.

After writing novel/learning how to write novels/trying to write novels now for... oh 23 fricking years (what? really? 23 years? why do you not have ONE finished, revised book?) one of the things I learned is that, in order to develop a writing practice from zero, you have to be gentle with yourself in the beginning.

If you don't write, it's hard to all of a sudden write 5000 words in a day. If you don't write, it's hard to just jump right in from nothing and be actively in the middle of WRITING THE NOVEL.

Just like my 4yo who says he can't write the letter A ("ican'tican'tican't") and throws his chalk across the room when I show him how it's done, you have to allow yourself to be a beginner. G thinks that he is a big boy, so he should know how to read. Yes. He actually said this. I told him that learning to read is part of becoming a big boy, and this is one of the things he can learn as a getting bigger boy.

I tell him, "but you know all your letters and even know how to pick out some words, and that is great for being a 4 year old."

And he says, "but I only know animals. I can't read. I can't write an A. I never write an A."

Well, it was hard to get him over his tantrums and get him to write his clumsy A... which he gets so frustrated with because it is still not perfect. But we did it. And tomorrow, we'll try again until he learns more confidence. And then we'll figure out A, and we'll figure out B, and the C and you know the way that story goes.

And tonight, when the kids are sleeping, I will try again to see what I can do with my novel. I will start where I am and I will allow myself to be imperfect and to not know the answer to revision or to writing. I will learn what I need as I go. I will gain confidence in my ability to revise. To rewrite. To shape my novel.

I will get into the practice of writing. I will put down my words one by one. I will engage daily in the practice of revising.

For 100 days. And at the end of it, I will look back and discover how much I have done. Maybe I will even have a finished, final draft of a book.

In reality, it's not talent or inspiration or ability that separates artists from non artists... it's commitment. That's why I'm doing this hundred days. I need to commit to this book, regardless of the other things going on in my life. I might even be offline for some time during these hundred days. But I'll still be working on my novel.

What do you need to develop, to learn, to commit to?

3 comments:

m. heart said...

Rowena, remember the video I posted with the floating house (didn't you do a levitating house painting afterwards?) Check this out...I started quite the debate without really meaning to...

http://omgposters.com/2009/09/21/off-the-grid-art-print-by-mark-brabant

As for learning/doing/finishing/committing, I am determined to make a blub book of photos soon. I've been procrastinating for a while now.

D'Arcy said...

to be more gentle with myself, like you said. i keep having to learn this and learn this again and again.

Spadazzle said...

Nice idea. Good luck with your 100 day project, I think I will come up with one of my own :)

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