Now that I’m settling into a groove with the blog and the Post-A-Day Challenge, I am turning my attention to Part 1 of The Plan: write as much first draft as I can.
My first summit sighted: 3,000 words a day.
This sounds like a lot, I know — and no, I’m not there yet, by any stretch — but I think it’s a necessary practice to cultivate if I want to build the writing career I imagine for myself. I doubt there’s very many professional writers out there who are publishing with any sort of frequency who aren’t hitting this number day in and day out — or even better — and I think it’s really just a matter of deliberate practice.
Rachel Brice, probably the most famous contemporary belly dancer in America, if not the world — who also happens to be a total sweetheart and wonderful teacher — has a beautiful, almost equally famous tattoo that arcs over one hip. It’s Yoga Sutra 1.14 of Patanjali in Sanskrit, and it says: “In order for your practice to be grounded in the Earth, it needs to be done consistently, for a long period of time, with devotion.”¹
If you follow this tenet in any endeavor you pursue, I challenge you to not become better at it. If you have any doubts as to what kind of results you can achieve with this principle, then watch this video.
I’m willing to lay down some green that for every minute of amazing performance given by Miss Brice, there’s a thousand hours of deliberate and consistent practice, committed to with love.
I accept that for every published word I produce in my life, there will be hundreds, even thousands of words that had to be written before that one was chosen. I also accept that writing these thousands of words must become my daily practice.
If I could write a short story that was as lovely and compact and nuanced and innovative and just — God! — so perfect in its own way as Miss Brice’s performance above, I would be a happy writer.
So I go now to my practice, with love and devotion.
Happy writing, friends. Namaste.
¹ This quote is taken from an interview with Rachel Brice included in the extras section of “Solos from Monte Carlo.”
Update: I ordered the very clever Glif today for my iPhone 4, and so I will most likely wait until that arrives before I do new header pictures. But I did spend some time last night making props, which was kind of fun…though it probably sounds more interesting than it actually was. So please forgive me for the delay on the photo shoot post. We’re almost done with BLOG OVERHAUL 2011…thank goodness! We’ll get there before the month is up. Ya know, just in case it was keeping you up at night.