• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Put Your Hands Up Playing My Song Butterflies Fly Away

Dearest Community of Writers, Thieves, Scoundrels and Cons: YOU MADE IT! WE MADE IT! Thirty minutes of pecking for thirty days. Tap, tap, tap. Scratch, scratch, scratch. We slung some sentences together and turned ourselves around. The feedback has been great: some started something new, some breathed life into something old, some found the daily task helped them find a groove. Some missed a day or two but got back in the saddle. I’m going to propose a weekly check in until the end of the year. My goal is to reach 100 pages and work on story. One question hangs in the air: why do we make ourselves write.

Leave it here: what is your goal for the end of the year? Commit! Commit!

20 Responses

  1. Why do we make ourselves write? I do it for the love of words, of language. I write because a beautifully written sentence can feel like a sunrise. I write so I can rewrite and take a “sort-of-feeling” and hone it into my truth. I write so I can share the personal, and make someone else feel less alone. And maybe a little bit so I can hang out with cool writer people like you guys!

    Here is my goal for the end of the year: I’m going to continue my thirty (minimum) with Sundays optional. My goal is to have three good, solid chapters of my new project researched and written by the end of the year.

    I pinky swear!

  2. I write to read the story I want to consume my thoughts.

    What is your goal for the end of the year?

    To query. I’m almost there with a story years in the making.

    • Why do we make ourselves write? A friend told me it’s like peeing. You have no choice.

      My goal for the end of the year is also to query for all three of my novels that have been in the works for ten or more years. I feel it’s time. At least I hope it is.

  3. “One question hangs in the air: why do we make ourselves write.”

    Do we make ourselves write, or are we made to write by some force we cannot resist, or resist only at peril to our peace of mind, assuming we ever may have any state of mind that can be referred to as peace of mind?

    “Leave it here: what is your goal for the end of the year?”

    To remain healthy and whole and possessed of such wit as I may summon and display on the page.

  4. I write because I long to both hide and connect.

  5. Woohoo!!! 🥳 Congrats to all – no matter where you are in this world of scribblers!

    Even though I write almost every single day, there was something about doing the 30/30 that provided a bit of extra oomph in my time at the keyboard. It was knowing there were writers out here trudging along with me. It was such a wonderful, collective experience.

    What is your goal for the end of the year? Commit! Commit!

    I’m at that weird part of the ms, about 67K in, and just wrote that scene I’ve talked about out here briefly – which will hold a twist at the end. In between now and the end of the year, I hope to do min. 500 wpd, and ideally 1k wpd.

    I have a lot of reasons as to why I write, mostly b/c I find it a lot like working out a puzzle, and I hate leaving a puzzle unsolved.

  6. Thank you Betsy, for all of this. What started as a small request has ended in an unstoppable force!

  7. I commit to writing 5 to 6 days a week in hopes of figuring out what the fuck I’m doing.

  8. Why I write? Gosh, I have for years, privately, at work, in journals. But working on the memoir this last month has become tedious, so I’ll give it a rest. This week, I’ll rejuvenate an old blog I gave up 10 years ago. Try a new topic every day.

  9. Right on! I mean, write on!

    I’ll keep bushwhacking through the wordy undergrowth because I’ve left a raccoon, a teenager and a five year old stranded in a crumbling shack perched precariously over a wild river in a small town where they hide from a raging drunk. I can’t abandon them there. What kind of a person would I be??

    Who needs Christmas presents, anyway? I’ll save my characters by New Year’s, by gosh, by golly.

  10. Why? Because language is beautiful, rhythmic, haunting, sublime. Because it’s easier to try to finesse a paragraph than to walk away and leave it alone. Because we can’t accept being misunderstood. Belittled. Stuck in tenth grade. We write because of the feedback loop in our heads which re-presents the madness from angles previously unseen. There is fear of missing out. Fear of leaving a vacancy where our books should be. We write because we might as well, since life without it seems kind of meh.

    I’m going to continue coattailing on Betsy by setting a 100-page goal for the end of the year. The trouble is that I’m using a story form that’s new to me, so I’m all over the place and have pieces of writing that may or may not be useful. My goal is to NOT destroy any of that stuff until it gets a fair chance at life.

  11. The beautiful Ray Bradbury was wise: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality can’t destroy you.” I try to remember this, live by it — but even though I’ve written it in huge letters on the screen of my desktop, it fades from me too many times, I stop writing, am destroyed. Like now… This past eternity, since I finished the last book, no words, not a one, how long is it now, how many years? More than two weeks anyway, not a word have I written, I hate me. Off kilter now, me, like I only fuzz-fit in my body, my brain a bloat-stain, no beauty, time-busted, what the fuck use is me? No use at all, I’m a rotting example of the nothing non-writers melt into, a deepening pool of drab-drizzle.

    Too much of the time we sit around and consume. It’s not our fault, sorta. So many great books, films, TV series, interesting news or trash-flashy crap grab our attention, and we feed on this stuff, fill ourselves, and leave no empty space in ourselves in which to create. If that stuff was food we’d all be four-hundred pounds, and tell ourselves it’s okay, we had to get this fat as “research.” I call bullshit — I call it at myself, to be clear. But loud enough so someone else might also hear it, feel pangs of guilt too, if deserved. It’s not research, Fuck-Knuckle. It’s avoiding the work.

    So today I’ll sign into the Freedom app on my laptop, so I can’t drift from one end of the internet to the other. That done, I’ll have nothing else to do but to write, or go out in the real world. Oh, and Fuck The Real World too, it’s another distraction.

    I have 27 available days with which to write between now and the end of the year. Let’s allow for two more days of that to be stolen from me by needy time-stealing fuckwits (probably myself). So 25 days. If I can’t write a 50K word draft of a novel in that time, I might as well give up writing and spend my life reading.

    Dear Betsy Lerner.

    I commit! I commit!

  12. Writing is sex: hot, intimate, loving, physical, orgasmic, release, joy, pain, suffering. I miss sex in my life and damned if I’m going to miss writing, too. It’s hard, it’s a bitch, and it thrills me when I do it well.

    I commit to it until my heart is broken, and then I commit again.


  13. This boat is kinda sinking. I need zee pep talk.

    • jodycarr, here is zee pep talk for you…

      Lean to the left,
      Look for a fight,
      Stand up, sit down,
      Write, write, write!

      Now get in there and give it your all!

      (It’s not a Betsy pep talk, but I’m cheering for you!)

      • How very kind! I truly appreciated it. Perhaps that’s why I was able to (possibly) solve the plot puzzle I was facing — I was sitting at intermission during an all-Beethoven concert, found your message, and went back to noodling on the problem. Thank you again!

  14. To create, connect, and ultimately change perspectives – mine and theirs 😉

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