Most of the longer posts—particularly the essays and short stories—you read here begin life as handwritten notes I jot down in an ever-growing collection of notebooks. These are strictly for my own personal use so I don’t feel any obligations. They’re places to let my mind roam free and get ideas down on paper. Most of the ideas are bad but something I think many of us who write can relate to is that the percentage of chaff to wheat is extremely high but the important thing is to get the idea down. That’s the starting point, and once it’s down a bad idea has a chance to be made into something good and a good idea has a chance to be made into something better.
And good or bad the idea doesn’t do anyone any good if it stays in my head.
Normally it takes me three to four months to fill a notebook and I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I write something on that last page. Sometimes as I get closer to the end of one I go into a flurry of writing, and sometimes I’ll set a date and push myself. I started my most recent notebook on November 7th and decided, as a purely personal challenge, to see if I could fill it up by the end of the year.
Then I got to the halfway point and decided to make the goal a little bit harder. And succeeded.
I finished writing the last page on December 6th.
Although something else I think many of us who write can relate to is that there’s really no such thing as being finished. The sense of accomplishment is short-lived. Filling one just means it’s time to move on to the next empty one.