"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." —Michelangelo
I won’t lie— it’s been a slog. A month and a half into my 90-Day Challenge—halfway!—with two weeks of writing every day (well, almost every day) and it's been a lot of placeholder writing, with occasional flashes of inspiration. Hard to finagle the time, especially with end of the school year activities, and Doug! elbowing for time. What I’ve written is probably 75% unusable, as I dutifully scramble to get from Point A to Point B to Point C in whatever form it comes out in. Quite different from my usual delicate snail’s pace, my sporadic but painstaking method of writing. It’s hewing at granite instead of carving scrimshaw.
And yet. My wise friend and former playwriting teacher Linda Jenkins (who is herself developing a 90-Day Playwriting book, due out this summer) sent me some encouraging words: “Remember—it isn't forever, just three months. And, you're building good new muscles for discipline.” It’s true—there is something to be said for making yourself set aside a daily block of time to write, no matter what. It’s giving yourself permission to Do as Authors Do.
The daily grind is also helpful for the creative process: returning to the world of your novel day after day, you find it never quite leaves your thoughts; the story is marinating, untended, in your brain. It’s much easier to dive back into the writing the next morning, as bad as it sometimes is, because you’ve somehow figured out what’s lacking and have come up with other possibilities: your subconscious had been noodling with it while you slept. You haven’t let the trail grow cold.
And, let’s face it, after two weeks of actual writing I’ve got 10,000 words on the page. 10,000 words that were not there before. A rough-hewn shape from a block of granite is a better place to be than looking at said block of granite every day and thinking, "I should really do something with that one day." It's an ill-favored thing, sir, but mine own.