on the writing process

This morning was the first morning, in a long time, that I woke up and simply rested for a few minutes.

My alarm went off at 6 am, I turned it off and laid there for two minutes just listening to my breathing.

Then I checked my phone for any emergency emails (working in residential life means there’s always a chance), saw none, and went to my kitchen.

Here’s to a bowl of cereal in the quiet of the morning. I sat and ate it in my chair, looking out over the quad outside as the colors changed the world I could see through my window.

I recalled something I had seen a few days ago about how Robert Jordan, I think, used to write. He didn’t plan to write ten pages a day or a scene a day. He always planned to write only 200 words per day.

200 words is a small amount, just enough to whet your appetite. I suspect he wrote far more than 200 words per day. But that amount is small enough to be easily accomplished and make you feel accomplished.

And in the story, those 200 words allow you to slowly paint the picture, to slowly bring the world alive and change the landscape just as the sun did this morning.

I think that my new goal, a far more achievable goal, is 200 words. I know that more will spill out onto the page. But the freedom to stop at 200 is what changes it.