The Good Patrons of 750 Words

A Note of Inspiration from Patron Ginny Washborne

20 cups

I’m a grad student and I’ve been having a very rough term, with a lot less fiction writing time than I’d like, but I’ve been grimly carving out the time between coffee and actual sentience every morning to smash out some sort of nonsense, just to keep my streak.

Yesterday I got my space squirrel badge. Today I had (made, forced, clawed out) an actual little wedge of proper fiction-writing time, on top of my seven hundred and fifty words of early morning nonsense. And—this probably shouldn’t be surprising, but: when I sat down to write, for real, on something I care about… I could write. I didn’t have to figure out all over again how to connect ideas to words. It was a struggle in the way that all writing is a struggle, but I felt good. Flexible. Ready. In the zone. It was like being already warmed up before you start in on a run: it didn’t hurt, and I really got some proper use out of the time that I had.

For me, that’s invaluable, and it’s the most real and present benefit of 750words: I do know that I should write every day, even if it’s just nonsense, because it makes it so much vastly easier to do the other kind of writing. But it’s hard to make myself believe that—or, quite frankly, care all that much—when I’ve had five hours of sleep and I’m facing ten hours in the lab. It’s somehow much easier when I’ve got the tidy, concrete carrot-and-stick of a broken near-three-year streak on the one hand, and a charming little cartoon squirrel in a cape on the other. It turns out I can write 750 words of nonsense every day for a squirrel in a cape—and whether that’s a little silly or not, it turns out to make not one whit of difference to how useful all that nonsense writing turns out to be when I finally do have time to tell stories. And then? I can use every second, and I do.

So thank you, Kellianne and Buster, for my squirrel in a cape—and ninety minutes of writing time, really spent writing, and nothing wasted at all.

Testimonial Note from Ginny Washborne on Sun, Nov 08
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