Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 14, 2009


When my husband left this morning, he said, “If you don’t write at least a chapter today, something’s wrong.”

I was sitting on the porch with a view of blue sky. That might not mean much to some, but in Massachusetts this summer of 2009, we haven’t seen nearly enough blue. The breeze was just a bit cool. Perfect. And there’s a low hum of bees from a tree outside the porch. I know it’s a bad time for bees, but here they are in pollination heaven.

And the pressure’s on for me. A chapter. Well, in chapter as metaphor:a bunch of words we might loosely call a chapter. The bees and I don’t count or measure, but we’re getting to work. Hear the hum?



  1. Wow, that’s some huge pressure. I’m not meaning to sound all precious about writing, but it seems to me a bit short-sighted to measure progress by chapters written. But then again, everybody’s process is different.
    Good luck! XO

  2. I’ve never written a chapter in a day and never will. Don’t worry, Melodye, I’m not taking it as pressure, just a light push, a pointing out that it’s a good writing day and to use it.
    I’m with the bees — humming and typing, but not counting words or pages, let alone chapters.
    Thanks for the xo. Back to you!

  3. and I’m going back to edit to get a bit closer to my reality! thanks!

  4. Ah, gentle nudges are good. That’s one of the take-aways from Julie & Julia. Supportive loved ones are so very important for us writerly types. 🙂

  5. Oh, can I come work with you and the bees? Sounds lovely. I’m sitting here (with cold toes!) in my dining room looking looking out at a cool gray morning.
    After zipping into chapter 12, and then coming to a dead stop about a thousand words in, I’ve deleted it all and gone back to figure out the why part of things.
    Here’s to our loosely gathered words today!

  6. Please, come Lorraine! I know it’s not weather that makes the writing, but it does inspire. I’ve had enough of gray and cold toes for a while — you just don’t expect that in August!
    I’ll be switching from iced green tea to iced blueberry soon, but will pour you whatever you wish. Yikes this Chapter 12 is really making us work to get there! And through!
    But I’m pressing my nose back to revised-revised Chapter 5, which might be pretty by the end of the afternoon. Now I’m dreaming of chapter 6.

  7. I love that your husband’s trying to be supportive. Even if he applied a bit of pressure in the process, his is a point well-taken.

  8. Thanks, Kelly. He’s a most supportive guy. I guess the words written like that may read pressurey, but in the context of breakfast and porch they just seemed loving. He knows I am not a word (or chapter!) counter.

  9. A chapter in a day? Whoa. That’s hardcore. It’s too hot here and I’m having trouble thinking, much less writing anything today.

  10. Sounds like a beautiful writing day! We had friends over this morning, and grandparents are arriving later today, so no writing for me… but I’ll be back at my desk again Monday. Promise!

  11. After the hum of the bees, the hum of the crickets–hasn’t it been fantastic to finally have a summer day?
    Glad you enjoyed it.

  12. I hope you had a great writing day. I did. Got the book! Thanks so much!

  13. When I went on a retreat a few months ago, my roommate wrote 14 chapters in one day. To top it off, she is very nice and smart. But if I do a page a day I’m happy.
    I’ve been wishing for more hot days this summer, but I suppose all the rain and no sun has been good for writing if not the peaches and tomatoes. But … sun again today! I’m meeting friends at a lake.

  14. I hope a few days away give you clarity and energy when you get back, and can hopefully move fast toward and through the beginning of the end.
    I hope the visits were fun. This morning I’m writing some between zesting lemons and beating eggs and butter, making a cake I’ll bring to barbecue with friends from childhood. One lives by a lake, and it looks like a perfect swimming day!

  15. I did enjoy the sounds, and this morning, too is lovely. Hope you can take a break from boxes; I admire your calm about the imminent leavetaking in your home.

  16. Yes, very nice writing day, even if it didn’t yield a chapter — maybe one twelfth of one? That’s good for me.
    I’m glad you got the book, and hope it’s helpful. As you know so well, even if there’s one detail it is worth the hunt.

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