# of pages written: 4
# of times I’ve checked email/facebook: 16
# of days left to write 1st draft: 160
Click here: Where I’m Putting My Eggs to read the full version, or, if you’re short on time, see below for the abbreviated version.
I’ve always loved to write. When I was six years old, I wrote a moving tale of a farmer and his chicken that my mother still has saved in a box somewhere. When I was eight, I created illustrated books modeled after The American Girl series. In high school and college I wrote stories, plays, TV scripts, and a lot of bad poetry. But I always kept writing on the back burner of my life. I didn’t think it was a practical career option.
I became a math teacher, which was fine, but deep down I knew I would never be satisfied until I had written a book that made me proud. So eventually I went back to school, earned my MFA in fiction writing, and got some short stories published in literary magazines.
Then I went straight back to teaching math. I figured I would write in the summers, and that at least I would have a respectable answer when someone asked me, “so, what do you do?”
Because you can go to medical school and become a real doctor, but in most people’s eyes I wouldn’t be a “real” writer until they could pick up something I’d written at the nearest Barnes & Noble. I didn’t even tell anyone I was a writer. I was afraid people would think I was some wannabe who always talks about writing “the great American novel” (god, how I hate that phrase), but never does. And, it was sort of true.
Two years went by, and I found myself right back where I started: a high school math teacher unfulfilled.
A writer is, quite simply, someone who writes, and that’s what I want to do. I want to make writing my job, at least for awhile, whether I get paid for it or not, whether I have success with it or not. Life is too short to be cautious. I have to stop being a coward and make the impractical plunge.
So, quite recently, I quit my job and moved to Cape Cod. I plan to spend nine months depleting my savings and focusing on my writing. I’ve decided that I need to get back into the habit of writing every day, and I need to really give writing my all. One of the ways I’m going to do this is by announcing the following:
I AM A WRITER!
See, I admit it. I’m not ashamed anymore. And maybe I don’t have a book on Amazon (yet) but that doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. I’m going to write everyday, and goddammit, I’m going to write a book I’m proud of. And you guys are going to hold me to it.
For a long time I didn’t tell anyone my writing goals because I was afraid of failing. I’m still afraid of failing, but I figure if I announce my goals to the world, it will help me stick to them when the going gets tough. Because I am a girl of my word. And I am a girl of many words. (Obviously.) So if I make a promise to you, dear Internet, I know I have to keep it. And I promise to have written the first draft of a novel by January 1st, 2013.
I am going to use this blog as a writing diary, recording the following each day:
1. How many pages I write
2. How many times I engage in time-wasting activities (namely checking email and facebook)
3. My trials and tribulations as I struggle to write a book of which I am proud
I also intend to keep you all updated with the progress of my novel and post on this blog any smaller bits of writing that I do along the way.
When I was six I wrote about a farmer and his chicken. Twenty-five years later, I’m putting all my eggs in the writing basket. And maybe nothing will hatch, but, in the meantime, I really like the basket.