Once upon a time I recall agreeing that, no matter what, a writer should attempt to write a set amount of words each and every day – at one stage that was 1000 words, then it went down to 500, finally 100 and then, at a very specific point in my life, it changed completely.
After the birth of my second child I realised that my priorities were changed and that, as much as I loved writing and wanted to write, other things would always take priority for me. I didn’t even bother pretending that I would attempt to write a set amount, each and every day, any longer but instead vowed that when I had the time I would write to the best of my ability. It didn’t matter if there was a gap of a few days, or even a few weeks – it didn’t matter if, after that gap, all I managed was a handful of words.
As long as I made them count.
This is the second time that I have been able to write anything today. I have had an excruciating headache and stiff neck all day and so I decided to do nothing other than enjoy the company of my family and try to ride the pain. A wonderfully long, almost painfully hot, bath (combined with some lovely pain killers) have worked their magic and, while I am still aching, I am no longer in pain. So I am writing this.
The other thing that I managed to write – the first thing? Well that was a handful of words – more than five but less than fifty – that I typed into my phone notepad while soaking in the bath. It is the germ of an idea that will hopefully turn into a short story, possibly something longer, that I am already excited about. It is a few good words that will be turned into something more, something better.
And that is a good thing; that is why I no longer care about how much I write, or when, but simply that when I do I make them count.