Did you write today? Put a star on your calendar
I love it when I find another writer who has a ritual or a way of thinking about writing that I share. It’s one more way of feeling connected to a community. This week, I had one of those moments when I read an interview with writer John Reimringer.
In The Aroostook Review, the online literary journal at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Reimringer speaks about the practice of writing, how he got into it, and his routines and rituals. One especially struck me because it’s a ritual I’ve done in the past with working out and one I now do with my writing practice.
I give myself a star for each day I write.
I like to use a calendar that shows a month and has big enough squares for the stars. Something about seeing those stars pushes me forward. I like to look back and see my writing history at a glance. If you post your calendar in a place where you work, it can even become a conversation starter. I’ve influenced more than one person to start marking their writing progress with stars. (It’s actually a good way to mark any progress toward a goal, not just writing.)
Reimringer and his wife, poet Katrina Vandenberg, do something similar.
“The tradition Katrina and I swear by is this: we each keep a calendar on the wall of our office. For each hour we write in a day, we get one star on our calendar. We use the kind of stars you got in grade school for being good, the little foil ones that come in five colors that you can get at an office supply store. It’s all about accountability and putting in the hours. Doing the work.”
In the interview, Reimringer discusses book research and how he came to write “Vestments,” his first novel. For more of the interview, as well as other interviews, fiction and poetry, check out The Aroostook Review.
Vestments was named one of the “Best Books of 2010” by Publishers Weekly and won the 2011 Minnesota Book Award for the Novel and Short Story.