The 1000-Word Project: Raising the Comfort Level

Daniel Fudge has committed to writing 1000 words a day for the month of April. He’ll be sharing his journey with Writer’s Edit readers each week. You can view his first article here.


Three weeks in and the novelty is beginning to wear off. 1000-words-a-day for 21 days. I think I’m beginning to syntax-fatigue get. (Nailed it.)

But seriously, I can’t actually sustain this level. And if I’m being honest, I haven’t been sustaining this level. I’m already beginning to slide. But, following the trend of my previous blog posts, I am about to take the negatives of the situation and put a positive spin on them.

Since I have been developing my writing skills so diligently over these past three weeks it seems only fair that I demonstrate these skills by constructing an overwrought and probably unnecessary metaphor (a metaphwoar, perhaps).

Imagine a ladder, floating in space. A fairly short ladder, with only ten rungs. Now imagine that I am holding onto this ladder, dangling off the fourth rung from the bottom. Ladders are clearly meant to be climbed, so obviously I have to reach the top of this metaphor. I mean, ladder.

This week Daniel Fudge dangles from his metaphorical writing ladder… Image Credit: Mettias via Flickr Creative Commons.

So, rather ambitiously, I overexert myself and make a wild grab for the eighth rung. I reach it, but only barely. My fingers hook over the rung but they lose their grip and I begin to slide. As I slide down I grab at each rung, only to fall again and again, until I reach the fifth one. Here, I manage to get a secure grip.

And so now I’m back to where I started: dangling from the ladder, except that now I’m one rung higher.

A clumsy way to describe my situation (hey—syntax-fatigue, remember), but you get the gist: I made the jump but right now I’m falling slowly from the lofty heights of 1000-words-a-day down the rungs of the ladder: 900-w-a-d, 800-w-a-d, etc., etc.

I’m not in complete freefall: I still write almost every day and I still often write 1000-words every day. But I can feel myself floating down those rungs. But (and this is where the positive-spin-on-a-negative-thing comes in) I’m choosing to view this as a natural and necessary part of the process. I need to find my own level. As does any writer. A level that is sustainable. A level that is comfortable.

This isn’t to say that I am happy sinking down to a more sensible level, but I have to remember that this is a process, and most probably a process of two steps forward, one step back.

So the only way to continue my journey up the ladder is to once again leave my comfort level and to be ambitious and to reach a little higher than I should. And every time that I do this my comfort level will be slowly edging up towards the top rung.

Daniel Fudge

Daniel wishes he was from Pambula. When he's not buying books and building houses, he co-produces the weekly podcast The Antipodecast and tweets @thisdanfudge. Daniel graduated from Wollongong's creative writing program in 2011.

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