I’m on a nifty new anti-shin-splint running plan, courtesy of a kind, lyrical friend. I run three days a week, rest in between, and take the dog for a long walk on the weekend. I call it cross-training, he calls it “Can I really? Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!” The plan is aimed toward getting me to run a 5 K. (I don’t really want to run a race, although I enjoy reading about them, I just want to be able to run 5 km. I’m hoping it’s going to make me into a badass.) My previous plan was to run on Monday when the week was young, and then try and fail to run every day for the rest of the week. So this plan is better.
There are a set number of miles I run each time. Right now it is even lower than the plan says because of encroaching shin splints, but as they seem to have disappeared (knock wood), I’m ramping up next week. In short, I am beside myself with success. (Note: This is a much-needed salve for a rough couple days.)
They say ADDers do well with structure. Today I tried to impose structure on The Fucker. I thought that because numbers had been working out well runningwise, and had worked out well in the past for word counts, that I could try again. Today I wrote 1,000 words in places where it was suggested that I might need more information. It was filler and it sucked.
But I was reminded of my friend J, who had a really hard time writing anything after her college senior thesis. This was, in part, because her thesis was about difficult stuff. But it was also because her thesis was very well written by the time it was finished. It’s hard to go back to writing crap after such glorious highs. You forget that your gorgeous sentence on p. 45 once was a steaming piece of crap that you considered doing yourself away over. (I exaggerate, but only slightly.) (And no I’m not sure that sentence is grammatically correct. Fuck off.) (And, yes, the series of parentheses offends my copyeditorial eye.)
I turned to the interwebs to see how many words an actual memoir contains. (Between 45,000 and 100,000 said a number of sources of varying levels of credibility.) I turned to a friend who said 80,000. Because I’m not even quite at 50,000, I decided she was completely wrong, misguided, misled by the interwebs. (No, you’re probably right, my friend, but let me have my moment of willful ignorance.)
I am not sure, in my present frame of mind, that I have even 10,000 words more in me on this subject. And I don’t know if that is because I am done or because I need to expand, learn more, give it a rest.
How do you feel about numbers?