When I started this little experiment back on January 1st, I said that I would be writing a post a day for a year. I said nothing about the quality or content of those posts, just that by December 31, 2012, there would be three hundred and sixty-six of them.
In the back of my mind, I always intended to write meaningful content. It was implied, whenever I started to plan a post, that it would somehow be meaningful, if only to me.
That lasted about a week. By Day Eight or Nine I was writing long paragraphs of rambling nonsense. Most of the nonsense was writing about how I wanted to write. There’s an irony joke in there somewhere.
I made the move to WordPress from LiveJournal on Day Twenty-Six. In that post I acknowledged my mistake and promised to take the work more seriously. I’ll be honest: I’ve tried. I’m certainly taking these posts seriously and trying to use this opportunity to its fullest potential.
But… There are days when I have no idea what I want to write about. Certain rhythms are being formed, like Wednesday as review day and Saturday as running day. Then I read other writer’s blogs and tweets where they seem to imply that I should have a dozen ideas an hour, and I feel like a hack because I don’t.
I tell myself every morning “Today I’m going to write one 500-word article, one 1000-word story, and a blog post,” or something to that effect. All I usually manage is the blog post. Sometimes, especially on Fridays, the story becomes the blog post.
I’m not just sitting here waiting for inspiration. I’m showing up at the page and putting down the words, even if those words then get saved to a .txt file and forgotten. I’m putting in the work, filling page after page in my journal with half-formed ideas and bits of prose, and still coming up short. I have no ideas (as evidenced by the fact that I am once again writing about writing). Or, I have no good ideas.
Am I doing it wrong? I know self-doubt is part of this path, but I feel like I’m overdoing it a bit.
I took a major plunge yesterday. Well, major for me. I spent a chunk of my tax refund – the chunk I had reserved for selfish purchases – on writer-y things. I finally bought a copy of Writer’s Market and a subscription to the website. I also bought and downloaded a piece of writing software – Scrivener. I’ve wanted Scrivener for a few years, but for some reason saw it as a frivolous expense. I mean, I have word processing software; why buy more? To be honest it finally came down to what I think I deserve. I must have the right tools, and I think that bit of software is right for me.
Now maybe because I’m financially invested my production will match my intentions. Maybe I’ll be as serious as I keep telling myself I am. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop writing about writing and actually write.