Two different things escalated to be by 9:30am, that’s how today started. Hopefully not a harbinger…
Hooray!! There’s also this, if you haven’t heard of it: 750words.com
FIrst off, thanks for the encouragement. It helps, and every little bit will continue to. I’m happy say that I did not hit snooze even once this morning, rolled out of bed, bleary-eyed after not enough sleep and did my writing.
I haven’t seen 750pages.com before, but it’s interesting that he says it’s a takeoff, a computerized version, of Morning Pages, because that’s exactly what it is that I’m doing.
The class yesterday basically went through abbreviated versions of two different writing theory books: Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones in the morning session, and Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way in the afternoon session. Morning Pages is a key tenet of The Artist’s Way, the theory that you should let forth with three pages’ worth of whatever drivel wants to flow from your brain right as you wake up in the morning. (Writing Down The Bones has its own theory too, called First Thoughts, about doing a series of 10 minute practice sessions based from prompts like “I remember,” “I’m looking at,” etc. Same concept, letting your dreck come forth unchecked, different method. I actually intend to do Morning Pages daily, and First Thoughts 2-3 times each week.)
750 Pages is the gamification of Morning Pages: Do it on a computer, get points. (Of course you could use a computer anyway, but more on that in a second.)
Surprisingly, as a heavy user of Untappd and Foursquare, this holds no interest to me. I’m a guy who likes points and likes things to be digital and portable, but the idea of analog writing, pen to paper, appeals to me in this case. Lots of people have their own ideas about paper vs. screen, but for me it comes down to the fact that I know I spend too much time staring at screens. Work for hours each day, plus all of my spent personal time on Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook, plus television (True Detective wasn’t going to watch itself last night!), plus whatever else I can come up with.
I recognize that I am wasting my life staring into various forms of the “warm glowing warming glow,” at Homer Simpson once said. If I start my day by grabbing my iPhone or MacBook in order to do 750 Words instead of Morning Pages, I’ll never succeed. Those Tumblr and Twitter notifications will make sure of it. Because once you start checking in with all of your various places, you’ve lost the best benefit to Morning Pages.
(Written on a MacBook.)
Once upon a time, I wrote.
In 2003 and 2004, I wrote a few drafts each of two different novels, which have never really gone anywhere except my hard drive. I never felt that they were ready to be seen, and I lost steam on them both. Eventually, I just gave up.
Leading into today, I’ve made three half-assed attempts at writing anything, and jumped ship on each of them very, very quickly.
It’s been a combination of fear, adulting and life in general, all of which are cheap excuses made by a person petrified of failure.
I’ve had one idea, a really solid idea that I’m quite proud of, bouncing around for seven years. It’s fairly well formed and more or less ready to go, but I’ve been scared that I wouldn’t do it justice.
Today was the day of the class.
I’m ready to start over.
Not even with my novel(s), though I did manage to write 1,639 words towards that Great Idea, starting it over for the fourth time. But who’s counting?
I’m going to start
every as many weekdays as I can manage by writing three pages. Pages of bullshit, pages of rambling, pages of random crap. Just to get into the practice.
Eventually, I’ll actually start the Great Idea in earnest.
Why am I saying all of this here? The public shaming.
This is where you come in. I figure if I say it here, instead of just to my wife, I can be called on it. So feel free to pester me and ask if I’m keeping up with it. I promise I’ll fess up if I start to slack, and then maybe that’ll be the next kick in the ass that I’ll need.
Stephen Colbert awesomely calls out Iowa Republican and avowed homophobe Steve King — who says gays and lesbians need to have their sexual orientation “independently verified”— by suggesting people send King “photos and / or videos proving that they’re gay.”
Who’s with me?
I’m gonna go ahead and plant my True Detective theory flag squarely in the “The Yellow King is not a person but a boat” camp. There have been way too many boat related shots/references and what better way to shuttle kids up and down the bayou than in a boat?
Totally legitimate possibility.
Fuck you, TSA Randomizer.