A Page a Day

In 2013 I read one little line that changed my life.

“Today is the first day of your 364 page novel.”

If I wrote one page a day by the end of the year, I would have 364 pages.

That seemed like an achievable goal.

Writing has captivated me since I was a tiny child. My mom loves to tell the story of how I would exit the house through the garage door, walk around to the front of the house, come in the front door, and I would be a new person. She never knew who I would come in as and what I would say. Before I even knew my letters and writing, any, and every scrap of paper I could find I would scribble until all the lines were filled in. She was slightly perplexed by these behaviors until a friend told her, “Oh no, that’s ok, she’s just going to be a writer.” I honestly believe I was born to do this.

Now fast forward through life and… life. How often do “things” get in the way of our passion? Like, all the time, right? By 2013 I had been married for 8 years, had 4 sons, ranging in age from 1-7, I stayed home to care for them and the many needs they had, 2 of our boys have significant special needs. By 2013 I knew I needed a change, I needed something that belonged to me, something I could do to bring life back into my life. That fall I devoured the Hunger Games series and I knew what I wanted to do, I wanted to write a novel. But how? I had no formal training, I didn’t have the commitment to go back to school, how could I accomplish this? And that was when I came across that quote. It seemed so achievable and felt so easy. For the next two years, I worked on a novel. I’m proud of the fact that I did it and I did not give up, I’m not particularly proud of the product, but I think one day I’ll rewrite it and turn it into something I am proud of.

Don’t give up, whatever you do, just keep writing.

The most important thing I learned those first two years of writing: More than talent, more than originality, more than how many words got onto the page, the best thing I did was create a habit of writing.

The cover photo is of my writing cabinet I made in our bedroom at the beginning of my journey. During nap time, on the weekends, and sometimes at night I would lock myself in our bedroom and write. I spent a lot of time looking at blank pages, scrolling through Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, and learning my craft. Now I have an entire room for my studio and writing space. Some days I write at home and other times I take it on the road, Starbucks, the park, a friend’s house, wherever the muse leads. In six years, I’ve written three novels and started a fourth. The last novel I wrote, trashed, rewrote it and reworked it again. It might count as two novels. Over these six years I’ve learned how to create my characters, keep a timeline, plot a book, outline a chapter, and stay on task. Instead of a page a day I can accomplish a chapter on a good day. And some days I remind myself I can go back and fix the shit, but I can’t fix what I don’t produce. If writing a novel is new to you, just keep writing, it’s a habit you create, a muscle you strengthen. Don’t give up.

When did you know you were a writer?

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