As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been using my limited writing time the last couple days to work on a new short story. Let me tell you, I am rusty. I managed to put down 1100 words working for about seven hours over two days (I told you my writing time was limited). That’s Rusty with a capital R.
That’s just over 150 words an hour, which is terribly slow. Mind you, I’m not tracking word count or writing speed; at this point I’m just happy to be writing again. But it does show how out of practice I am. And I could feel it, the rustiness creaking in my fingers as I typed, the cobwebs being swept clean in my head as the words started to flow. I had to resist hard the urge to edit in real time, to second guess my sentences, to go back and revise, and continually remind myself that I just needed to write, write, write.
Yes, my writing is very rusty, but it is still writing. The words may suck when all is said and done, but they’re there, telling the story I need them to tell. If I have to revise them, or even change them entirely, they still fulfilled their purpose in getting the story out of my head. And while the first three hundred words were torture to get out, the next five hundred flowed easier, and the last three hundred easier still than those before. That’s how it works, and I need to remember that.
I now work for the next few days, which means my writing time will be next to zero, and that when I sit down to write again I’ll be rusty once more. But now I know that I just need to push through those first few hundred rusty words, because after all, they’re still words, and they count.