In truth, the 'other daily activities' seem to garner far more importance when the 'mantra' or should I really say 'chore' of 500-words-a-day surfaces. So why have such a daily requirement at all?
You see, amazingly I have a fan base out there of interested readers wanting to know what happens after ‘Nesting on the Nushagak’. I am asked on a regular basis, "When is the next book out, Emma?" I do not want to disappoint my readers. I have discovered the third book of my 'now to be' and 'never originally planned' trilogy will never get written, unless I ‘get down’ to some consistency in my writing.
Thus my daily regimen. I have found that by setting myself a goal of a little daily writing, then slowly and surely the book magically appears, rather like a lizard from behind a rock. First its face, then a front leg, an eye blink and a quick wriggle… and you have it!
However one of the disadvantages of writing a memoir is the fact that you are not only writing about your own life, but the lives of others. My Alaskan adventures were also shared not only by my husband, Kotzman, but also many native Alaskans who became respected friends. History is viewed differently though the eyes of those experiencing it.
Living in bush Alaska and living with the local people has been a highlight of my life. I still miss it. I do not want to write about bush Alaska in any way that appears I am being judgmental, condescending, or ignorant. So if I write 500-words-a-day about a particular incident, then I am faced with the dilemma of retelling that incident from a viewpoint, mine. But what about theirs, I think. Should my writing also include their perspective? Maybe even a combination of both?
This thinking takes time. Some incidents bring up strong feelings, that haunt me during the day and leave me at times writing far more than 500 words as I delve into the adventure and relive it. Often I am surprised to find myself at a full stop, and still in my little office in Tasman, not back in the sweeping wild snows of Chevak.
As well the benefit of my 500 words-a-day regimen means I am now actually reaching the end of this trilogy, and already beginning to wonder about my next writing project.
I am quietly hoping it will not be a memoir. Then maybe I could happily write any number of words a day.
(PS for the record,this has been about 500 words).