The First Page

January 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm (Random Thoughts, Writing)


So I mentioned in my last post that I have ideas coming out the wazoo and trying to find time for them all is like running in a straight jacket attached to a drag chute. (Yes, I know–the pity I demand is overwhelming, is it not?) Right now I’m editing one book and writing another and on top of it all, I’ve had this damn idea from September that just won’t leave me alone. It was a bit depressing looking ahead and knowing this book (somewhat far afield of my normal paths) was going to have to wait. It was, quite simply, breaking my heart. But then something interesting happened today.

I’m sure you’ve all heard other writers/editors/agents say if you wrote a page a day, you’d have your book finished in roughly a year. Everybody can write a page a day, right? That nugget of wisdom rattled loose in my brain and I decided to take this malignantly beautiful book swimming in my head and deliver it, one page at a time. And not only that, I’m going to handwrite it. (There was something about this book begging for something different anyway, and handwriting fills that need.)

So today I bought a composition book and wrote the first page of this book. I’m going to do my damnedest to write at least a page every day (truthfully, I don’t think I have the hand strength to write much more than that at a time) and see where I am in a year. I’ll keep you updated and we’ll see how well this much-lauded system works for me.

And the writing today? It felt good. Peaceful.


January 18th, 2012. It’s a date.



  1. coffeegirl88 said,

    The horrors we suffer for our art. 😉 Look forward to seeing how well this works for you. Have the girls demanded pretty pens yet? Or is that just what mine always seem to do?

  2. Robin said,

    That is *awesome* Pam! What a great way to tackle more than one project and I’m sending lots of happy writing vibes your way! Enjoy every day, my friend!

  3. Pamela Cayne said,

    Coffee–no pens on this one, though they have requested them before. 🙂

    Robin–thanks for the vibes! I’ll be so curious how this process works out. 🙂

  4. Kyle said,

    Awesome! You know, when I wrote my first book I wouldn’t let myself work on another one (I did a lot of short stories, but no other novels) out of respect for the project. I told myself that if I started another book, I’d never finish the first one.

    Well, what ended up happening is that I DIDN’T START ANOTHER BOOK for 8 years! Which is really ridiculous (on many levels). So, this time around, I told myself that I was allowed to work on two projects at the same time. That way, when I get stuck on (or sick of) one of them, I can go to the other for a nice change.

    Even though I haven’t been a writing MACHINE this past year, the option of switching back and forth HAS helped.

    Just don’t allow that third (or fourth!) sneak its way into the queue! 🙂

  5. montana (curtbooks) said,

    Something tells me you won’t be able to stop at one page a day! So proud of you.

  6. Samantha Grace said,


    What a great idea. As I was reading your blog, I thought how I don’t know if I could stop after one page, but handwriting it, I can see that would keep me at a limit so I don’t neglect my other responsibilities. I may give it a try too. I have a new series I’m dying to start. Please keep us posted on your progress. 🙂

  7. Pamela Cayne said,

    Kyle–Glad to hear the switching back and forth has helped for you. I may call on you for support if I start feeling too overwhelmed. And I have *no* idea what you mean about a 3rd or 4th book sneaking in. No idea at all! 😉

    Montana–aw, thanks babe. 😀

    Samantha–I hadn’t thought of it that way (being able to stop at just one page) but hearing you say it, that’s it exactly! I can type for pages and pages, but handwriting has an absolute shelf life. Plus, I love the organic nature of it. Let me know if you try it–we’ll be day-by-day buddies! 🙂

  8. Marilyn Brant said,

    So excited for you, Ms. Pamela!!! This is a great idea — you get to keep working on the projects you’ve committed to and, at the same time, have an exciting writing fling on the side ;). I have something like that, too… A story idea I love but it just doesn’t quite fit with what I’m doing professionally at the moment. I’ve been calling it my “playground” novel because working on it is kinda like recess — something I play around with when I’m not doing all the regular day-to-day things. It sounds like you’re going to have a wonderful time taking breaks and playing with yours! xo

  9. Caryn said,

    What a good idea! It seems like handwriting it can also help you compartmentalize it so that you can work on other books at the same time. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun!

  10. Pamela Cayne said,

    Marilyn–I *adore* the term “writing fling”! And I hope you’re having as much fun with your playground novel as I am with mine. Huzzah!! 🙂

    Caryn–That’s the talk I had with Montana last night–expectations vs fun, and we decided that this is the FUN book, so I need to stop thinking and just let myself flow through it. 🙂

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