500 Words a Day for a Month #1

I’m out of the practice of writing. I have been for a long while now. Although in my head I’m still a “writer” (though never a paid one (OK, I’ve sold some work for hire for pennies but that hardly counts, does it?)) I haven’t really written anything substantial for far too many years.

Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve forced some words out of myself here and there. I’ve worked on My Novel™ off and on. I’ve started other projects; I’ve got a nifty idea for a post-apocalypse story that I have maybe 8,000 words on, for example. But it always peters out.

I’ve started NaNoWriMo many times and never finished, never “won”. You’d think the excitement of being one of a group, of being part of something larger, and the routine and deadline would all combine to carry me across the finish line. Sadly, no, it has never done that for me.

It’s been said that habit can carry one past where motivation wanes. OK, maybe I made that up, but I did not invent the core idea: motivation is fleeting and hard to maintain, but if you have built a solid habit of something, that repetition will help you keep going until motivation returns. I know I’ve read this somewhere.

I’m going to try it. I’m going to set a goal, just as an experiment, to force myself to write 500 words a day for 30 days. Starting with this post (239 words to this point). Let’s see how far I get.

What am I going to write about? I can’t worry about that. I can tell stories about my day. I can write down my dreams (ugh, I know, right?) I can write how-tos about computer stuff since that’s my day job. I can talk about politics because that’s a central obsession of my life these days (things are terrible right now, y’all).

But the important thing is to just get words down, regularly, daily, over a long-but-also-manageable period of time because hopefully, I can get back in the saddle, as it were (have I ever talked about the first and last time I ever rode a horse? I was very young and I have never even wanted to try it again since then because, yes, I fell on my ass and got laughed at). What was I saying? Oh, right, I want to write again. I have things to say but there’s an internal, mental block when it comes to actually write them all down. (411 words – just keep going, man).

I do not promise that these will be amazing, or even artistic or clever or, frankly, coherent. This is an experiment, and the audience is primarily me. To that end, I’m not going to promote these posts in general. If you’re reading this, I’m sorry, but also, thank you, and please keep this in mind: if you want to encourage me, just keep it simple. I’m not looking for suggestions on what to write, and I’m not looking for feedback on what I’ve written. Just notice what I’m doing; that’s all I need. Thanks.

513 words. Day one is in the bag.