In her classic book, “Writing Down the Bones,” Natalie Goldberg says, “My rule is to finish a notebook a month…Simply to fill it. That is the practice. I am careful not to pass judgment or create anxiety if I don’t do that. No one lives up to his ideal.” I remember when I first read that back before I decided to become a writer. It was years ago, I sat outside a cafe in Silicon Valley on a metal chair as it made a waffle print on the back of my legs, and on the table in front of me – a latte in a ceramic cup the size of a bowl, a pretty journal splayed to a blank page, held open with a pretty pen. A journal a month? Really? Most days I was a software test engineer, and on that day I was writer-curious, rather than a writer.
Last year, I plucked the half finished journals from my shelves, piled them next to my desk, and wrote in them. I wasn’t in a rush, I simply wanted to write and as I reached the end of each, I remembered Goldberg’s rule. I was indeed filling them, albeit in some cases, it was almost 10 years later. But I pressed on and I was so focused on doing this, that I hadn’t thought ahead to the next step — that 2015 would be the year of the fresh start with brand new journals. I wrote a lot last year, but my win was establishing a daily routine.
Then sometime, Boxing Day to be precise, I started writing, no kidding, every day. Yesterday, I finished journal number three for 2015. This is what 52 consecutive days of writing looks like.
Photo Credit: Sherilyn Lee