09 February 2009

7 Days of 1000 Words

During an AA meeting in 8th Grade, Dan Wallace (ahem, i mean "Mr.") told us that the best thing to do with your goals is to write them down & tell them to people. Well, my on again/off again goal over the last few years is to read 100 pages a day and write 1000 words (though, because i'm a total pussy, i make little deals with myself like 'today i'll write 1750 words and just read 25' or 'if i read 200 pages of comic books, that'll count for today)...

Today, Roman Numeral J reader(s), i invite you to join in a mini-verbal revolution & take on the 1000-4-7 challenge. You needn't start today (in case your today is tomorrow), but start. Write 1000 words, post it to the internet, stuff it away in your sock drawer, or send it off in a letter to yourself (or someone else), just write. My sense is (and i'm not sure i'm write) that the world can't be hurt by more people writing & expressing themselves and might very well be helped enormously by it.

For my own part, though i have a vague notion of writing more often on RNJ generally, i will publish the majority of each day's fodder here online over the course of the next week as an example. Some days it won't be pretty, as i'll be wanting to go to sleep and won't yet have written my daily quota, or 'won't have anything to say', but i think too often (and here, maybe, i'm preaching to my ENG 102 students as much as i am to myself) we look at writing as an end-result of "inspiration" or 'muse', but really, what it amounts to, is a habit.

A couple of personal ground rules, i guess, might be in order. First off, the "per day" limits run (for me only) from the time i wake up in the morning to when i fall asleep at night, so reading (my personal goal also includes the previously mentioned 100 pages of reading/day - which, really, wouldn't be a bad idea for you either, would it?) and writing done after midnight surely count if i'm still up. Any reading or writing done after first falling asleep, but having awakened in the middle of the night can go toward either day (though, assuming i succeed in my goal will generally be counted toward the next day, to get a head start). Also, no 'working ahead' or 'behind' is allowed, as in promising yourself on Tuesday that you'll catch up with the missing words tomorrow... If you miss a day, ok, just start over with the 7.

Let's see, new to the site is a link to Robert L. Gard's whisky endeavor. Rob is a friend of the blog & true expert in the field of all things of the brown booze (though, as far as i know, Rob has never been to the Dundee Dell, a shortcoming in the scotch field that, i think, maybe even living in Scotland, working at a distillery can't entirely overcome).

Ok, well, i started off with a bit of a head start for the day, so i will sign off here from my call to ball-points. Just a couple of final tips, don't word count too often lest you get bogged down in counting words, rather than writing. And, the biggest best piece of advice i can give is avoid worries about 'not having anything to write' just now. Even if you just write the same word 1000 days (i can almost guarantee you won't do this more than 1 time), some really famous poems have been comprised of just 1 word repeated over & over and in the act of such writing, you draw attention to the act of writing itself (think Michael Snow's Wavelength, but on paper)

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