2008 Biamer DAY 11: 1 May 2008
Yesterday (Biamer Day 10 Wednesday 30/4/08) I managed to do 700 words.
There's a quote I love by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu (604 BC - 531 BC) :
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
According to Michael Moncur although this is the popular form of this quotation, a more correct translation from the original Chinese would be "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." Rather than emphasizing the first step, Lao-Tzu regarded action as something that arises naturally from stillness. Another potential phrasing would be "Even the longest journey must begin where you stand".
I found this appropriate after the last two days writing sessions. I didn't feel like sitting down and writing, but I thought "Just write 100 words." And I found that once I'd begun to write, once I'd written that first word, within a relatively short time I'd written double my daily quota and - if I take what I've done so far in this BIAMer - I'm surprised at how many words I've actually written, and we're not even half way through the BIAMer.
So, like all the ancient sages, Lao-tzu's words can be applied to a modern context: the journey is to write a whole novel; the thousand steps is the overall word count be it 50 000 or 120 000 words and the single step is simply that first word, whether it is the first word of the whole book, or the first word in the day's writing session. All it takes to begin the quest is write a single word, and all the rest flows naturally from it.
Our futures as published authors lie beneath our feet: let's enter the stillness of inner Muse and complete our journeys step-by-step and word-by-single-word!
2008 Biamer DAY 12: 2 May 2008
Yesterday (Biamer Day 11 Thursday 1/5/08) I managed to do 526 words.
And, tell me, how are we all doing today, Day 12 - the beginning of the sagging middle of our BIAMer? Are we haggard with exhaustion? Or are we bursting with inspiration, our fingers flying over the keyboards as the words pour forth? From the word counts being posted the last couple of days I can see it's the latter!!!
But writing is not only about creating but also about discipline, and this is what our BIAMer is doing - helping us find that discipline and commitment to our writing which will ultimately see us finish our novels and be published authors. You get two inspiring quotes today, one on commitment & one on discipline:
From Margaret Atwood's book "Negotiating with the Dead", on writing discipline : An art of any kind is a discipline; not only a craft - that too - but a discipline in the religious sense, in which the vigil of waiting, the creation of a receptive spiritual (creative) emptiness, and the denial of self all play their part.
From Scottish Himalayan Expedition on commitment: Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans : that the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision to commit, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way
MAY OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR WRITING GROW DAILY; MAY WE HAVE THE DISCIPLINE (Self-Mastery) TO WRITE DAILY!
Good luck writing today!
2008 Biamer DAY 13: 3 May 2008
Yesterday (Biamer Day 12 Friday 2/5/08) I managed to do 712 words.
I've been thinking about the word counts and our daily targets. Why, when we only get a smaller target then we'd hoped or aimed for, do we feel guilty and apologize? Why can't we be proud that we've done something which is much more, and much better, than doing no writing at all?
I think it's because we live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We're told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more everything to be truly happy. However, do we ever stop to think that a smaller quantity of anything, but one which is high in quality, will almost always be more satisfying? A single piece of our favourite chocolate can satisfy us more than a full bucket of broccoli (unless you're a rabbit, of course!). So - maybe we're not writing bestsellers (yet!), but surely one fulfilling writing experience can eclipse many empty moments of not writing? It is not the quantity of writing that matters, but the quality that we experience during each moment of doing what we love to do. Every minute is an opportunity to develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage by actually writing, rather than just talking about it. Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When we focus on quality, all our writing (and our life) experiences can become truly meaningful. Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality and forget that, ultimately, it's not how much we write or live or have or do each day, but what we make of each moment that counts.
Let's promise ourselves that from now on, we will CELEBRATE every word we write, whether one or one thousand! For our writing is our joy, telling stories our dream and taking the time from our busy days to write can only make the quality of our lives better!
MAY WE HAVE MANY MOMENTS OF WRITING JOY!
2008 Biamer DAY 14: 4 May 2008
Yesterday (Biamer Day 13 Saturday 3/5/08) I managed to squeeze out 357 words.
Today is a MILESTONE MOMENT, ladies! Yes, today is MIDPOINT DAY - we're at the top of the hill of our BIAM, we've pushed that (bloody big) boulder all the way to the top and now we can pause to take a breath before carrying on! We can look behind us and have a clear view of where we've come from and we can look ahead of us and have a glimpse into where we're going!
Behind us lies (collectively) very nearly TWENTY THOUSAND WRITING WORDS!!!!! Isn't that incredible? And in just two weeks!!! We overcame the obstacles; we pushed that boulder of our dreams up the hill and now ahead of us lies the last two weeks of our BIAM - and it's downhill racing all the way...wheeeeeeeeeeeee!! It's going to be a fun ride! So let's climb aboard, take off the brakes and RIDE THE WRITING WAGON all the way to the end of the BIAMer!!!
Apologies for all the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'s but I find this very exciting!!!
Good luck for writing today - MAY THE WRITING WAGON NOT HIT ANY HIDDEN BUMPS ON THE WAY DOWN!!!! :-) :-)
2008 BIAMer: The End
The vote is in and we've all decided to call it a day. WELL DONE to everyone - this has been a hard BIAMer but I do think we have partially achieved our goals, even if not in the way we expected. And, for more inspiration, I've attached the xcel file with our totals and stats. I was very pleasantly surprised at the amount of words we achieved. TOTAL = 26 627 words in just 14 days. (Sounds like Dr Frank N Furter in Rocky Horror..."in just seven days, I will make me a ma-aa-an...") And even the personal totals are amazing! Some of us feel that we haven't had a great biamer but just take a look at how quickly a 100 words here, and a 100 words, there adds up.
So let's all pat ourselves on the back, and know that when we return to do part 2 we can do incredible things!