Today I will begin my one and only New Year’s Resolution: to write 500 words a day for the next month. It may not sound like much and it isn’t, but it’s achievable. For some reason I often find 800-1000 words, a length I generally prefer for my blog posts, somewhat of a mountain to climb. The word count on the bottom of the page often hits 500 quicker than expected. So that’s the goal.
The intention is sheer practice at tapping a keyboard and watching things appear, rather than to be read. Obviously the more people that read my blog the happier I am – all bloggers and writers are attention-seekers of course – but the sole goal of this exercise is to type words into my computer that come as close to coherent as feasibly possible. Hopefully I won’t lose any of my loyal fanbase – all three of them – but if you are one of these people who kindly reads this regularly and find yourself bored/feeling like puking, this is to say: I’m sorry, please stick with me, or at least come back when this is all over. If, on occasion, the writing finds itself to be entertaining, interesting, witty, articulate, insightful or even readable, that is a purely a bonus, so for God’s sake tell me. LOVE ME. The exercise is designed to stop me procrastinating. I can procrastinate with the best of them.
The quality of the writing will vary wildly, but I will be strict about grammar, punctuation and spell checks. It doesn’t matter if I write about radiators, Star Wars, wallets or dust (OK, I’m looking at the contents of my desk for inspiration), if you see any, point it out. The object is to just get the words down. I am freeing myself from the shackles of using any reasons whatsoever to stop me from the simple task of sitting down and typing. That includes, in no particular order: subject matter, tiredness, whether people don’t care, whether they do care, hunger, boredom, sore-assness, frustration. That’s all I can think of now.
See? See how awful this is so far? Get used to it. If in 31 days and 15,500 words later the writing has permanently improved, I’ll be a happy man. Inspiration will come along the way. There’s a busy month ahead.
I figured if I stopped caring about whether people cared about the subject matter, that would help. So, that means there will be a decent chunk of it on Manchester United. It’s something I know a tiny bit about, it’s something I’ve written about before, and it’s a relatively easy subject to start on because it’s always there in front of me.
Every style is legitimate. Match reports, stream-of-conciousness garbage which secretly spur me into thinking I’m the new Jack Kerouac, casually dropping in authors’ names to make me sound well-read, football comment pieces that are meant to sound like actual pieces in a newspaper, stories that are meant to sound like actual news stories, pieces that are specifically written as part of my NCTJ distance learning course for which I have exams in April hence why I’m doing this now rather than a few weeks down the line, stuff about music, films, books… it all could form part of this
project half-baked undertaking. The point is, I’m coming up on 500 now and it’s taken me barely 25 minutes of bashing. Yes, that was easy. But the writing sucks. And it won’t do in a month. Probably.
I hope you enjoy it. Even though I said I didn’t care who did. See you on February 4th. Champagne will fall from the heavens.