It's been 100 days since I quit my job and started writing full-time.
I've been evaluating how I've been doing. I've been evaluating how my life has changed, what I've learned, and all that deep stuff. This is what I've come up with:
AWESOME STUFF I'VE DONE:
When I left my job, I was a wreck. I wasn't happy with much of what I was doing, and it'd been a long time since I was able to take my writing seriously. Since then, I've gone on a lot of cool adventures. I've traveled Europe, I've gotten PT for my leg and am working out every day, I'm heading out for the wedding in a week, and I've met a lot of cool people.
I'm feeling a lot more confident in my writing, which is always such a hard thing to do for us writers, isn't it? I've finished my draft and started revising this week. I wrote 20 pages of my 35-page paper. I finished the halfway mark of my MFA program. I'm involved in this blog train now. And I've been able to stash away a little cash for us on a rainy day.
I should not be feeling bad about what I've accomplished.
THINGS I CAN WORK ON:
I still have no idea what I'm doing with this blog. I know that my mission is to just write every day, and for the most part, I've done okay with that. There have been a few times I've had to do two days in one entry because of internet issues or it came down to writing on the book or writing the blog. But it should be every day, because that is what I set out to do.
But what exactly am I supposed to blog about? On other blogs I've worked with, I've had a specific writing topic every day, or I'm asked to talk about one specific thing that I need to cover (like at the MFA Years, talking about my experience at Stonecoast). But what is this space for? I think it's okay to just use it as a journal of my expedition through this year. It's good to journal on what happens every day, and it keeps me accountable. But is that even interesting? I know that if I was following this blog, I'd take solace in the fact that someone else was feeling the burn of writing. But I just worry it's terribly boring.
I also set the expectation to write every day. Again, for the most part, I've done that. But there are still days where I get bogged down with life (wedding, family crisis, dirty dishes) and I don't live up to my expectations for myself. I'm not going to lower my bar. I'm just going to work harder.
SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
I will do what I set out to do. I will write through the hard parts, walk through the drudge, and continue to grow. It's so easy to say, "You're doing your best, slow down, you're doing all you can, you're not perfect," but then you miss out on what your best could actually be.
That said, this is a picture of my ketchup at BK yesterday. Between my wedding coordinator being inept and my book looking like absolute nonsense last night, I just needed to squish a ketchup cup. It felt good.
SO WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY?
Today is a good example of it being so easy to give up and not. We've had some setbacks today: late night/early morning combo of going to sleep and getting up, no food in the fridge, cancelled sushi and writing date, and the absolute most uncomfortable chairs known to man at the Scooter's I'm currently taking refuge in. Here is a picture of said chair.
So I was in the car heading to sushi when it was cancelled, and I could have just gone home and slept and half-listened to the Les Mis book, since I'm behind on that reading. But I didn't. I still went to the Scooters. I still got my cookie and my ice water. And then I looked around for a place to sit.
For some reason, the Scooters worker thought it'd be cool to take up one of the booths, so that left me with this little table and this chair. I know, it doesn't look that bad, but that back of the chair? It's slanted. You can't lean back in these little devil jerks. Look at it, all smug. Friggin' chair.
So I about had one of my frustration breakdowns, where I go, "I've had enough, world! I'm done with you for today!" But I did not, because now I am an adult and I do not throw tantrums ... usually. So I just snuggled in, opened my doc, and started looking at chapters.
A half an hour later, I'd fixed a chapter. And I just sat back in my seat ... except I didn't because you can't in this seat ... and I stared at the screen.
There was Abbey, right there in my chapter, on my paper. She wasn't some weird amalgamation of something I wanted her to be. She'd done what she'd done, she'd started to take control of how I wrote her, and it was endearing. It made so much more sense to let the characters do as they do.
I still have two hours before I need to leave to pick up Alex. Two hours is a long time to sit your butt in an uncomfortable chair and stay busy, but I intend to.
It'd be easy to pack up and leave, but then nothing would get done.
Happy 100th Day.
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.