Or, 365 first drafts.
"I’m beginning a year of writing abundance, and this has been day one." I love this. Have been thinking this last night as well. As always, such warmth to have an update from you, Summer.
Only mine will be 1,820 things in 364 days.
I will not think, just write.
and go deeper, and higher.
(maybe these five lines are five things today...)
I stumbled upon A Writer's Notebook while researching how to get rid of books. (My wife is all in; for me it's like wrenching them from my cold, dead hands.) I happily went down the rabbit hole that took me to Project 1,825 Things. Last year I made a point of writing something every day and instead of coming up with something out of whole cloth, decided to just write about what I did the day before.
Sometimes it seemed like a list and other days it gave me some insight into myself. This year, I'm taking a different approach: If we indeed learn something new every day, I'm going to write down one thing I learned the day before. Additionally, if laughter is the best medicine, I will write about one thing that made me laugh the day before. Sometimes both learning and laughing are easy to remember.
Other davs, not so much. It's forcing me to not onlv write, but to reflect.
On dropping the phone or other precious things - don’t think too hard about it, or it may happen!!
I lost my engagement ring in a little park in the mountains near my home, fiddling with it while on a small bridge. I got folks with metal detectors to hunt for it, but it never surfaced. I think a bird has it in its nest somewhere. I remember the “bounce, bounce, bounce” of it onto the bridge slats, then the thought, “oh no, don’t fall down there...” and down it went.
Happy new year, Summer, and thank you for Five Things. I am going to try to do it weekly. I like the way you accumulate fragments that are polished enough to imagine a finished piece. It’s so much more encouraging than scattered notes or Shitty First Drafts. I also think the format gives your subconscious time to percolate ideas properly. I keep sending people the link and recommending it!
Gorgeous. So textural I was there walking at your side... Do you write these fast drafts in your laptop or by hand in a journal?
In an online writing Zoom a guest host shared a writing prompt/journaling format that is similar to the Five Things form. I've enjoyed it. It's revealing what comes up to the surface.
Thank you Summer for this post, I loved it! As I do all of yours. Thought you might like to know that I have shared it and your newsie with my own newsletter crew this week (due out on Sunday). It's here is you'd like a peek https://companyonsundays.substack.com/
Many thanks for this
"I’m beginning a year of writing abundance"
Wow, the momentum matches the energy of the fireworks and NYE revelry!
Thank you for the inspiration and nudge forward....
So nice to hear from you again Summer. We are all wishing you a wonderful 2023, especially given the mess 2022 was for you. Please do update us on the status of your “courtesan” book and the feelings you may have now that you’ve spent some time with your new painting. But mostly, thanks for sharing your writing, and so much more, with us.
This is awesome! It reminds me of a creative technique used in stand up comedy where they write and perform a new minute of stand up material every week to build a new hour special. Probably working through those 5 ideas with a group of people after you come up with them or once a week go over what you come up with would really help it all blossom.
I just read this, near the end of July, and really, any day can be the start of a new year, right? I remember a commercial for Special K cereal when I was a little girl, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" and of course it was about dieting because that was the only way women talked about food, or thought about food in the late 60's, restricting rather than enjoyment. And, I remember being amazed, at 6 years-old, that any day could start a whole new trend in my life!
So I'm starting the 5 things essay for 365 days in July, as a way to excavate what I'm carrying around in my head, and to hone/practice really looking at the world. Though I'm not looking at Paris, I am looking at the fruit trees in my yard, how shiny and strong the leaves, and yet three of them are not bearing fruit this year. The peach, the plum, the persimmon. They seem to have embraced being crones! Casting shade, thriving, yet barren.
I'm an admirer of your work, Summer. Thanks for all you share with us.
Summer - love your work :)
I am starting a movement to ask Substack to put in a poetry section on the website - https://substack.com/profile/10309929-david/note/c-15537618
Feel free to support, and thank you as always :)
I love the idea of this a lot. When you want to write but are struggling to get the words out of your head and onto the page, this is the perfect way to go about it.
This is a very interesting writing format. Did you invent it yourself? I am thinking that it might help me with my fiction writing as well. I love doing the worldbuilding but I struggle with writing the stories, it takes me a long time. By using you method, I can explore scenes, characters on a daily basis. Another advantage I see, is that I can explore alternatives for plots, scenes. Usually, the first two ideas are either a copy of something I 'saw in a movie' or a plot twist that everyone knows already. I know this method from product management: quickly writing down ideas for how to solve something or for new features ideas without any discrimination.