Thursday, June 12, 2008


Last week I joined an online writing group and I was a little nervous about not living up to the expectations. Over the past several months it's been difficult to force myself to write. I wasn't sure if the encouragement of strangers would do it for me, but I haven't been able to do it on my own I figured it couldn't hurt.

Well, five days into it and I've written five days in a row. The group only requires 100 words per day which works out to about half a page, or one full page since I'm writing by hand in a notebook. The first couple days I wrote about 300 words, but Day Three I wrote a whopping 700 words! While writing my memoir my daily word goal was 1000 words and I'd often surpass that, so my memoir-writing self is still looking down at my new novel-writing self for being so pleased with a couple hundred measly words, but every little bit helps, right? In five days I've written about 2000 words, more than I squeaked out in the past month.

The beauty of such a low daily goal is it's really hard to come up with an excuse not to write. What, you can't spend ten minutes writing? Half a page is too much for you? You could write that much and be back to AW before the conversation refreshes!

Yes, I like to trash-talk myself.

Anyway, I'm feeling much more optimistic about my story and my writing in general. I've had to rethink my expectations but this new outlook seems to be doing the trick because I'm finally writing again.


Anonymous said...

Melanie, that is totally awesome! Congrats on getting words down on the page. Writers always throw reasons out there to not write but you're getting words down on the page, and that's what matters.

Keep up the great work! You *can* do it!

Janna Qualman said...

Great for you! I say whatever way we come by motivation is fantastic - even if it's "pressure" by way of strangers or from our own internalizations. Keep up the good work!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks guys!

colbymarshall said...

Trash talking yourself is awesome! I need to try that!