Four months left on my self-imposed countdown to finish a set of stories.
I have, so far, only these:
- Two stories I’m satisfied with–hurray for small mercies!
- Another that’s 2/3 done and on its quintillionth iteration (no such word but there should be considering the sheer number of revisions this story has gone through)
- The beginnings of a story on friendship and all the glitter that surrounds it
- A story about going home, which is turning out to be an essay
- An essay on a shipwreck off Palawan, which is really about why I dive even when I’m deathly afraid of water
- An essay on face value, possibly my own
- A half-essay on my father that had started as a blog post, which I’m not sure I’d want him to read
Oh, I’ve been remiss. I need to finish these and then write new ones. How can I in four months?
First, I have to stop perfecting my stories. I should just write. The poet William Stafford said, “Write to your lowest standard.” I should write and do the rewriting later.
Second, I have to do a little each day to fulfill this project. The days are long but the years are short. Each day toils on slowly, yet the year suddenly twists into another –ber month (it’s September in another day!), hitting us in the gut and leaving us gasping, Where did the time go?
Somewhere in the busyness that I call my day, there must be at least a half-hour I can carve out for writing. Maybe when my three-year-old is swallowed whole by Disney Junior. Or in the one minute it takes for the conditioner to work on my hair. Or maybe I just have to wake up a half-hour earlier than the rest of the world.
I just gotta.