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Mission Semi-Impossible: Day One

Categories: This Writer's Life.
Words: 1743
Feelings: Boredom, Nausea, A Sense that Something Cool is Happening Somewhere on the Internet and I’m Missing It
Sins: Gluttony, Sloth
Fears: Three pages don’t make any sense, might have changed one of main character’s last names mid-way through book without realizing, don’t understand why one character is always clapping in every scene he’s in. Sense that I don’t really know what i’m writing about.

Thoughts: Do you know how many words 2000 is? Apparently I don’t. Tried to break up the day into 4 sessions of 500 words. Made perfect sense. First two went pretty quickly. A few pages of dialogue? No problem. I am a dialogue writer. I kill dialogue. But then just as the dialogue was being slayed, the well went dry. Not my dad’s well at his house, because, as he informed me, “we don’t have a well, we get our water from the Colorado River like the rest of SoCal”. (editor’s note: he didn’t actually say SoCal. but don’t you wish he did?) So not an actual well. The writing well. Oh wait, I think that’s a pun. And i wasn’t even going for one. Lesson: you can’t turn off genius.

Need a change of venue. Go outside. The air outside is choice. Keep telling myself, You are a writer. You write things. You write well. Keep thinking: this is a pretty place for a writer to write. Think about that for thirty minutes in the choice SoCal air. Don’t write much.

My dad bought a case of Arrowhead mountain spring waters. Allegedly, Arrowhead has been making water since 1894. I smell bullshit, but can’t think of a way to fact check it sitting outside. Despite their lies, I take down 16 of them. And pee < 11 times. At least my (um, kidneys? small intestine (s)? bladder?) is working. Quit writing, go inside and read Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. It’s a first novel about work. It’s good. And funny. Not exactly helping my confidence.

Try to write post-dinner. Doesn’t work out. Shouldn’t drink two Italian beers at dinner. Or ever. Fall asleep with computer on my lap, in the middle of a particularly intense scene, 250 words from my goal.

Question to Ponder: Does imagining Amy Smart’s character in the movie Varsity Blues every time I write dialogue for a girl help or hurt my book?

Either way, need to step it up.

Breathe….Just Breathe,


PS- Pictured Below: The Wishing Well my father doesn’t have.

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5 Responses to Mission Semi-Impossible: Day One

  1. Norm Benson says:

    I am reminded of what Anne Lamott says about being blocked: "There are few experiences as depressing as that anxious barren state known as writer’s block, where you sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling talent run down your leg and into your sock."

    And then you need to wash your socks to get the talent out before it stains.

  2. Pat Marin says:

    Well…you made my morning by making me laugh. Sorry about the well, I couldn’t resist. I will keep checking on you because I know you can do this. Just write anything now. To quote Nora Roberts, ‘Pages of writing can be fixed. A blank page cannot.’ Hang in there, and it does get better. Trust me. Look on the bright side there’s always Dad wishing well.


    Pat Marin

  3. If it makes you feel any better, during the month of May, a friend and I are going to challenge each other in a word count battle. The word count to reach: 70K. I kid you not. I may need to borrow your fathers non-existent wishing well.

    Good luck! The first couple days can be tricky, but you’ll beat them into shape soon!

  4. Kat says:

    YOU ARE A FUNNY GUY! Seriously, I’ve read lots of blogs and yours is the only one that makes me laugh out loud. You’re (as some people would say) "with it." Anyways, I too am working on my first draft of my third novel, and it’s taken almost a year and I’m still not close to being done. But as hard as it is, I love every moment of it. But keep on rockin’ the free world and good luck.

  5. maybe your father has forgotton he has it. in which case this could be the first sign of the onset of dementia. I would sneak a peek at his will. it seems to me that far to many people leave money to pets in this modern world.

    i am keeping an eye on my mother for the same reasons. is that a natural well or was it man made, just looks like a curious rock formation. ho hum!

    best regards

    from sunny manchester uk.

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