I’ve heard it said that the last two miles are the hardest two miles. That after a long drive, accidents happen in the last two miles. That marathon runners cave in the last two miles. That so much work falls apart right at the end. The manuscript that is one draft away. The poem that needs its final image. The unfinished sweater, the fingerless gloves, the dishes left undone. So much of life is leaving the little things unfinished. And they pile. And here we are, the end of this march (and the end of March), and the only advice I have to give is the advice that I’m giving myself. Don’t give up on these last two miles.
For some of us, at the end of March, we’ll relax on our goals. 5 hours/day might turn to 15 minutes might turn to two hours of prime time television might turn to staring at a wall. I hope that doesn’t happen. My goal in starting this writer’s march was simple: I wanted to write. Every day. To have a goal and finish it. I will not pretend to be perfect. I will not pretend that I was able to sustain my 3 hours of writing a day, but I came close. I’ve written a hundred pages so far, but I have not yet completed the third draft of this novel. I’ve learned about myself as a writer, what I want/need out of a writing routine, what makes me get out of bed (early) in the morning and work.
Most importantly, I’ve also learned to be gentle (or at least gentler). To know that writing should be an act of love and as one of my professors told me, if you aren’t enjoying writing it, then people aren’t going to enjoy reading it. According to him, if you don’t love writing a book, even when it’s published and on the shelves, you won’t feel satisfied. Writing, no matter what form you do it in, is a journey. The end result is much more satisfying if you let yourself enjoy the ride.
Tomorrows final post falls on a Thursday, and Jennifer Simpson will wrap up the month. I plan on keeping up with this blog–though I admit the daily postings will likely go away. Between now and next year, I’ll work on getting this Writer’s March going again. Until then, keep at it. Some people have already told me they’ll continue the daily routine. I hope you will, too.
It has been a pleasure writing to you every day (more or less) this month. Thanks for sharing this writing “space” with me.
Until next time,