sentenced

My first week of my thousand-word self-imposed commitment was encouraging. I wrote a little every day. Most of it would fall under the umbrella of what Anne Lamott refers to as “shitty first drafts:” little descriptions of people on the el, or settings, or memories, just enough to draw on later without losing the details. I decided to measure from Wednesday to Wednesday, and to measure roughly, since the first thing I realized is that I still prefer writing in a notebook to writing in an open text field. I may have fallen far short without knowing it, just by being out of practice with how many words fit in an area. It’s a little like guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar, trying to figure out how many words are in a good-sized paragraph in one notebook or another.

Now that I’m deep into Week 2, though, I’m backsliding a little into excuse-making. Granted, it’s easy to say they’re good excuses, because here is what has happened, in order, since Week 1: first, I got hit by a car on my bike (my bike, the car, and my person all emerged with our faculties intact; I yelled at the driver some, and he repeatedly said “Sorry!” with the emphasis on the second syllable, “Sorr-eh!”). The next day, along with a bunch of completely amazing friends, who are all wonderful people and should be knighted and toasted with the finest champagne, I moved approximately 97% of my worldly possessions to a new apartment five blocks from this one. This was the culmination of months upon months of worry and teeth-gnashing (real and metaphorical). Afterwards, I took one of the most serious naps of all time.

The final excuse for this week’s lack of writing was that my bike wheel got stolen right from in front of the building where I work between 1:30 and 5 pm yesterday, so in the time that I would otherwise have been catching up on writing not done during the move and subsequent recovery, I was too angry to have thoughts.

And so! I am going to New York the day after tomorrow, and I am hoping to come back with New York stories, and to fill the time when I would otherwise do the crossword or read with words instead. I sentenced myself to get things down on paper, and I ought to, despite whatever circumstances.

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