The Disclaimer: Doing this feels very alien to me. The scenario, the discipline, but most of all the sharing. The act of writing, at its best, is something imprecise and pure, not a 9-to-5 job, right?
It is a cliché, but I have always wanted to be a writer. (Perhaps that is why I find it difficult to treat it as a job—I understood the notion of ‘writer’ before I had even heard of ‘employment’ or ‘career’.) Other ambitions have risen and fallen over time (an architect, a carpenter, a hip-hop rockstar) but ‘author’ has always remained.
This mirrors a methodology which is important to my writing process: ideas and images come and go but it is only the ones that stay with me over time that are eventually put onto paper. Perhaps I should apply this same consideration to my life. Ambitions come and go, but maybe I should pay attention to the one that has been with me all along and maybe I should actually commit to it.
I will be 25 next year. By the time I turn 25 I would like to have completed the draft of a novel.
When I read about authors who sit at their desks and write 2,500 words a day and complete one book every year (in time for Christmas) I always find myself being judgmental of them. This method of writing doesn’t seem to correspond with my own holier-than-thou ideas of ‘imprecise purity’. But these people are published (and often very successful) authors who have made a career out of something they love to do.
Perhaps the hard work of being an author isn’t necessarily the hard work of self-loathing or of waiting for inspiration. Perhaps the hard work of being an author is closer to the hard work of any other successful professional: committing quality time and effort to your line of work.
So, starting today—April 1st, 2014—I will dedicate time and effort to my writing. I will write 1000 words a day for the entire month of April.
It’s not a novel, but it’s start.
I have made similar promises to myself over the years (“I will write every day”, “I will write a short story every week”, etc.) but I have never properly followed through on any of these.
This time, however, will be different. It will be different because of one word: ‘myself’. This is not a promise I am making to myself. I am hoping that sharing my goal in a public space—this article—will add a dimension of responsibility to my venture. Whether or not anybody reads this or subsequent posts, I have nonetheless committed to producing them and by extension I have committed to writing 1000 words a day.
I won’t be going as far as sharing any of my actual writing, but I will write a weekly blog post about the experience. What is it like to write 1000 words a day? Does it get easier over time? Is it best to write in one block or to break it up over the day? Is there an optimal time of day for writing?
Those questions can be addressed in future posts, but for now the only one I’m worried about is ‘What should I write about?’
I have ideas floating around in my head about what I’d like to write. It’s now just a matter of finding out which ones stay when the others disappear and committing to them.