Welcome to Write Despite!

Write Despite…The Movie

 So if you’ve landed on this blog, you must be interested in writing.

Hey, so are we! And we’re glad you’re here.

We are Karen and Cathy, and we’ve decided to begin work on our new novels by finally taking the advice of all our writing teachers and our favorite authors. You know, the ones who tell you to “Write every day!”  Like these:


‘Write every day … with a pen that’s shaped like a candy cane.’

―David Sedaris

“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”

―William Faulkner

“Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.”

―Lawrence Kasdan

“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”
―Anne Tyler
“In twenty years I’ve never had a day when I didn’t have to think about someone else’s needs. And this means the writing has to be fitted around it.”
–Alice Munro

Every day, every day, every day I write the book”

 ―Elvis Costello


With this in mind, we’re going to launch a simple and insane project:

We’re Going to Write Every Single Day.

For at Least 20 Minutes.

For One Year.

At least once a week we’ll blog about our progress—how we’re writing, where we’re writing, what obstacles presented themselves to try to keep us from writing (other people’s needs be damned!). We’ll offer up quotes, tips, links, prompts, and various inspirations to keep the words coming.

At the end of one year, we’ll see if we’ve accumulated anything, if we’ve gotten ourselves into a real writing habit, if we agree that this writing every day thing is, in fact, all it’s cracked up to be.

We know what you’re thinking. Well, we can guess. So we’ve created these nifty FAQs just for the occasion.

Q: Are you high?

A: Absolutely not. Not today, at least. We did cook this up one night when we were both swilling the sauce, but we’re still on board. And, for the most part, sober.

Q: But how are you going to accomplish anything in only 20 minutes a day?

A: You know how intimidating that jigsaw puzzle looks when you first dump out those thousand pieces and that weird puzzle dust is flying everywhere, and you think, this will never happen? But pretty soon the pieces come together don’t they? And if you only put in one piece a day, you’d still finish the damn thing in, um, a thousand days. Okay, that’s a long time.  But it would be finished.

Q: But what if I want to write MORE than 20 minutes?

A: Absolutely not. All writing must stop at exactly 20 minutes.


Of COURSE you can write longer. In fact, picture us cheering you on from the sidelines: “Go writer! Go writer!” We only stipulate that you write AT LEAST 20 minutes. What happens after that is your personal achievement. And, by the way, you’re welcome.

Q: What if you’re already in the middle of a writing project?

A: Great! Start anywhere, anytime. The goal is to make progress from whatever point you begin at.

Q: What if you’re just not feelin’ it every day?

A: Not to be rude, but just get over yourself. Books comes from work, not divine intervention. To quote Jack London, “Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club.” Inspiration will happen WHILE you’re working.

Q: But what about Christmas Day? You can’t write on Christmas Day!

In his lovely book On Writing, Stephen King tells of how he once lied to a reporter who asked him how often he wrote. King told the man he took Christmas Day off, because he didn’t want to seem like a writing-obsessed freak. But, he admits in his book, he does actually write on Christmas Day. And we can too! Hey, who doesn’t need an excuse to sneak away from the piles of wrapping and the children who’ve turned  from bleary-eyed little angels to sleep-deprived demons the minute that last ribbon came off? Retreat to a room–the bathroom if you have to–and write. Because it’s only 20 minutes!

Q: What if you have the flu?

A: Ask your hubby, your kids, a neighbor to deliver a laptop and Nyquil to your bed. Set a timer. If, in only 20 minutes you write a mere paragraph in between nose blowings, you can drift off into that Nyquil coma feeling at least a wee bit better. We promise.

Q: But life intrudes! What if the kids are whiney, the hubby is crazed, the wine bottle is empty?

A: Kids must be put to bed, along with hubby, and emergency wine run to 7-11 must be made. Even if you’re the only one up at midnight and your bed is screaming your name, come on, you can last until 12:20.

Q: Okay, but what if …

A: Enough already. We’ll talk more once we get started. Just remember that whatever you have to do to write despite, it can be done because…and here’s the beauty of it…



So join us.

Write along with your own work, draw inspiration, tell us how it’s going, bitch, compare notes.

And let’s see what we can do in 20/365.


Gather your ideas and your courage:


JANUARY 1, 2013!