eleven days

Eleven days into 2012 and I’ve already written a little over eleven thousand words on the manuscript I’m trying to finish, plus a handful of thousand words on little short-shorts that aren’t very good but are satisfying to write. In these past eleven days I have written more than I did in the past eleven weeks prior, and suddenly I feel like a useful member of society.

Not that anything I’m writing is useful or will benefit society in any appreciable way, unless you would like to argue that the making of things, the exercise of the almost certainly unique human ability to create things that are purely aesthetic in nature, adds a little bit of spark to the world and helps to rev up the spiritual engine of life that keeps us all moving forward in this crazy world of ours. Or not.

But despite going crazy, despite feeling like every day’s a struggle right now (and it won’t be forever, but when you’re struggling right this second—that is really remarkably difficult to remember), I have this to point to and say oh, hey, look. Look at that. That is pretty fucking cool. The fact that I am writing every day is pretty impressive to me, anyway. It’s something I’d like to keep doing all the way through the year, an unbroken string of days.

Ideally, on December 31, 2012 I’d like to sit back and say, “Despite all the hardships that befell not only me but the earth, like when gas got really expensive and I lost both my thumbs and the zombies rose up and fully half the ocean was drained away into space by a giant striped bendy straw, the origin of which we are still struggling to understand, I still wrote every single day, a minimum of five hundred words but more usually about a thousand words, with the occasional three to ten thousand word marathon days that are such a luxury and a pleasure, and for which I would have gladly given even more thumbs, if I had had them to give.”

That is my dream. It’s a simple dream, but I am nothing if not kind of simple.

  3 comments for “eleven days

  1. Kiki
    January 12, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Fu! This is wonderful. And you’ve just finally made me see something I should have understood a long time ago… that making yourself write can be one of those things we do to assert control over our lives, that it can be done focused less on “is this any good” and more on “i will accomplish this”. The act of making yourself do a thing day by day so that you can look back and say “I did that.” Which GETS IT DONE. So we can then go through on second draft and worry about making it good.

    I mean this is the sort of observation that my life is throughly steeped in, not a day goes by when I do not hear people talking about precisely this thing, and yet it’s never really come home for me the way it did when I read your entry. There’s just such a palpable sense of accomplishment in your words, of wrestling control over chaos. I get it. I would like to do it.

    Thank you darling Fu and mazel tov on starting off your year so well.

  2. jen fu
    January 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Thank you, kiki. It’s been a revelation to me, too–we’ve been talking about this for years and years and years, I know. I think all writers talk about this. And I am thrilled to have had this kind of turning point. Your words are beautiful and I hope you have the same thing.

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