I’ve just recently reread Ann Patchett’s essay “The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir about Writing and Life” (in her book This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage). It’s a good choice for SOL month, for all kinds of reasons, but the one that’s speaking to me today is her advice: “Now when people tell me they’re desperate to write a book, . . . I tell them to give this great dream that is burning them down like a house fire one lousy hour a day for one measly month . . . Do you want to do this thing? Sit down and do it.”
So, even before March 1 came around, I started writing on my to-do list every day: “Write/research.” Do something to get a story moving or keep it moving or get an idea for another piece. And I’ve been trying: revising my Nanowrimo manuscript from last fall, researching for a historical fiction idea (Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! meets Colonial Williamsburg, anyone?), trolling through years of the writer’s notebooks that I’ve kept to model writing for my students but have never taken seriously for myself. And the ideas are appearing. Maybe not flowing like a river or a waterfall, but bubbling up every couple of days from the murky pond of everyday life. And I’m welcoming all of them.