Sunday, June 29, 2014

How To Write a Lot

OK, so I took a writing class called "How to Write a Lot" yesterday at the Hill Center and part of the class was setting some goals and holding yourself accountable for writing. Among the many things I took away from the class, was the fact that everything I write doesn't have to be for posterity. Not everytime I put pen to paper (really 9/10 times it will be pounding keys like I"m doing now) has to be going somewhere or part of a greater whole or anything other than participating in the exercise of writing. That was kind of a freeing revelation, as was acknowledging that any writing I do is an inherently selfish indulgence and getting more comfortable with that idea.

Another tip we got yesterday that I think will prove most helpful to me going forward is one that I inadvertently used when starting this blog post: start off by writing one sentence that's true. Apparently this was a technique that Hemingway used when writing and, while I haven't read enough Hemingway to understand why everyone gets so steamed up for him, he accomplished a lot more as a writer than I likely will so I'm going to keep rolling with this tip until it's no longer useful to me.

I'm going to go ahead and put this out there so that if I falter, fake, or fail maybe one of y'all will hit me up and call me out. We had to set two week and four week goals in this class, my two week goal is to do six blog posts and to pitch an article to Cracked.com and my four week goal is to twelve blog posts and submit my article to Cracked. If I can discipline myself to actually write for an hour every day for six days a week these are realistic goals.

Blogging is pretty easy, I'm gonna bang out 500 or so words (what I consider to be an acceptable word count for a blog post) right now over these 20-30 minutes. The blog posts are going to be rough, no editing other than what I do while I'm writing, I'll use those to knock off the rust and get me ready for doing something that will actually be reviewed and evaluated. The Cracked article is going to be a little more difficult but, since I already have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to pitch, if I'm writing everyday I should be able to get it done.

I also picked up a writing partner in yesterday's class too. I exchanged email addresses with the guy sitting next to me in class and we said we're going to get together next week to hold each other's feet to the fire. As a happy coincidence he lives about 3 blocks away from me, so we'll probably meet at Sova (I'll never call it H St Coffee House or whatever the fuck they renamed it to, Frank Hankins FTW!!!!) and see how we're doing. We were talking and both agreed that shame is a powerful motivating factor, so I'm not gonna be the guy standing there like a 5th grader without his homework next week.

1 comment:

Sowilo said...

Looking forward to it!