As I walked into the bathroom, after doing a crazy dance in the mirror and laughing the kind of maniacal laugh I’ve had no control over these days, I made the decision to write 3000 words a day. It doesn’t matter what they’re for, who they’re for, or what they’re about, but 3000 words must be written before the settling in of my bones atop my Japanese futon (something I highly recommend everyone try sleeping on at least once in their life).
A little secret about me: I’ve been writing for almost 3 decades. It didn’t come as naturally to me as it did some of my peers who’d won things like the Young Author’s contest in school, but I had to replace the lives I created with my Barbie’s with something, less I die of boredom. That’s where writing came in. It’s been a love/hate relationship that we’ve shared over these twenty-plus-some-odd years, and sometimes my heart hurts to think of all of the time I could’ve spent writing when, instead, I found myself participating in some form of self-loathing activity.
I do have to remind myself that, although I wasn’t writing fiction, I was writing something, whether that something was a blog post, a work article, an unsent letter to an ex-lover, and so on. I was still writing. Some of it I’ve saved in the illustrious Evernote, which has saved years of my writing without me having to do anything else but write in it. That brings me some semblance of peace.
Back to fiction, the love I always seem to leave, that never leaves me. Ever since the 3rd grade I’ve wanted to be a fiction author, to create interesting worlds that others could get lost in like many of my favorite authors had created for me. Every time I’d sit down and get halfway through a novel, I’d read it and there would be more holes in it than a cheese grater. It wasn’t until I was around 22 or 23 that I found out that most writers need to follow some kind of story structure in order to create a cohesive story. Aha! After all those years, I thought authors just pulled ideas out of their heads and splattered them onto the pages without having to actually have a foundation. I seriously thought all of the most famous literary writers were that talented.
It wasn’t until then that I finally understood. But by then, my life had changed; I had many commitments and priorities, and I could no longer spend the countless hours I used to spend sitting behind my laptop, typing away at plots, character arcs, and chapters.
It’s been almost a decade, and I’m back where I left off, but this time with much more gumption and a lot less commitment going on. It’s only right that I force myself to write at least 3000 words to make up for lost time. At least, that’s what I’ll tell myself so that I can feel better about it.
Ha, just kidding. I’m beyond excited to hone my craft and write my heart out, as much as I can, pulling in inspiration from the most mundane of things. I’m also really excited to be able to share this with you, and hopefully the excitement rubs off on you so that you, too, may be encouraged to grow your craft into what you know it can be.
∞ Aminah Jamil