Recently I've been trying to be more disciplined about certain areas of my life.
I certainly don't need any more discipline in the exercise department, but I have been making a fairly good attempt at reading, downloading music, hanging out with the dog and just unplugging, in general. It's working fairly well, I think.
One area that I've been neglecting is my writing.
I developed a new web site for my business and I wrote a few hand-written cards last week. I also opened up a brand new (and enormous) journal and filled up three pages. And obviously I've had a few things to say here, too.
But I've been wanting to do more - something that pushes me a bit.
When I happened across a contest in one of my favorite magazines, "Real Simple," I knew that I had found my project.
Real Simple is doing a call for essays on a topic that I think is actually quite trite. In fact, the topic was a bit of a deterrent initially, until I realized what I could do with it, in a way that's totally different and maybe somewhat unique to the editors there.
I have no idea what the prize is; I only noted the submission date (September) and the length of the essay (no more than 1.500 words).
I'm committed. I'm going to do this. With the help of my sister, I hope.
Which brings me to my next point. My sister and I were talking to another writer this weekend about how many words a writer "should" write each day. The general consensus was 1,000 words. My sister said that when she writes any more than 2,000, she's exhausted. But I bet my dad could write 3,000 words and not bat an eyelash.
Well, I can say with certainty that 1,500 words has done me in today. I'm completely trashed and it's only 3:30pm. Not sure how anyone could sit down day after day with a novel unfolding and keep this pace without copious amounts of caffeine, but maybe it's like anything else. I suppose you build stamina.
Nevertheless, I'm stocking up on the iced coffee and will press on with this essay with plans to post it here by September.
Hopefully by then, I'll be pounding out 2,000 words a day with no problem, but until then there are always pool breaks. I think I hear a chaise lounge calling me now.