What's odd is the way in which that realization came about. I was talking to one of the doctors I'm working with on the teen suicide screening project, and she asked me how my year was going. It's a weird question to answer; I'm in a sort of suspended-animation version of the usual fourth year of med school. I'm not applying to residencies this year, and so I'm not involved in the mad morass of interviewing/ranking/hoping/praying in which most of my cohort is currently entrenched. So I answered that I was enjoying working on the project (true), and getting in a lot of nice runs, maybe thinking about a half-marathon this spring (also true)...and then, what? What else am I doing? Some heavy lifting in therapy--true, but not something you tell a supervisor, necessarily. Assorted crafty things, like knitting caftans and making jewelery and doing a series of Georgia O'Keefe-esque watercolors of the innards of flowers that kinda look like ladyparts? Also true, but not totally compelling. Looking at lolcats and reading online comics? Not gonna cop to that. And so I said, "And with my extra time, I'm working on my novel." And then thought--what?
Now, this isn't a lie. I'm always working on my novel, to some degree. Usually it's fiddling with phrases in my head while I wait in line at the grocery store, or dashing down a quick description of a facial expression in my notebook while I'm at the coffee shop. But that's fiddling, dallying. It isn't WORK, which involves sitting my ass down and getting words committed to the page.
So, starting today, the goal is a page a day. I can do more if I feel up to it, but I don't have to. Less is not an option.