Humility, begone. I'm a bit of a genius.
Calm down. I'm kidding. Kind of.
A while back, I wrote about my mini-epiphany (I have a fair amount of these, don't I? But don't be envious. They are mini.) that every year is 365 days which is about the length of the average novel. That is actually a bit longer than the average novel, but it is the EXACT length of my novel. How crazy is that? Crazy, I tell you.
Anyway, I am still in love with this metaphor. Frankly, I can't stop thinking about it. The butterflies are major. In thinking about this simply profound metaphor, I came up with my mantra. Yes, I now have a mantra. Drumroll please.
Just One Page.
Yes, that's my mantra. And it has not one, but two meanings. First, if every day is a page that means each day is just one page. One page is nothing. One page flips by in an instant. One page can be terrible and the story can still be okay. So, if I am having a rough day and you all know that I have rough days from time to time (hey, Sundays), I will say to myself "just one page."
Secondly, this mantra is wonderful for anyone who has the tiniest hankering to write. I've been amazed by how many people have written me or pulled me aside at a cocktail party and whispered that they have always wanted to write. Well, I have good news for you. If you write just one page every day, you will have a draft of a novel in one year. That is not bad. It does not take very long to write one page. Remember this is just a draft and first drafts are meant to be lousy. Just one page.
So these are three words I will tell myself when life gets ragged and when I get stuck with my writing or, say, when my brain aches from trying to cook up a book title.
Just one page.
Now I must go back to this scruffy fellow of a day. He lingers, brooding and bold. His breath is heavy and smells of struggle. His words are faint whispers, moist mumblings, I can't quite hear. But I try. His presence is stormy and gray. He makes me question everything. Whether it will turn out okay. I tell him it will. Because I know this. But he looks at me, skepticism plain in drizzly eyes. He makes me worry. He feeds me fear. And I lap it up. I sit here, chilly and calm and confident, and I turn to him and say it, "You are just one day. You are just one page." At this stark and simple truth, he shrinks a bit. He grows smaller. At the prospect of tomorrow, he fades and fast.
Just one page, kids.
How do you like my mantra? If this past year was its own story, was it a happy one for you?