I signed up for a Writing 101 Course through dailypost.wordpress.com and had forgotten about it until this morning when I got the first email with the “exercise” for the day. Apparently this is a 20 day program to work on story telling and blogging in general. Now I haven’t really written anything except technical blog posts since NanoWriMo of last year (Winner!). So this 20 day exercise seems like it hit me at the right time as I’ve become quite excited to try it out.
Last year was my second NanoWriMo victory. Doing those novels once a year has taught me twice now that I have the ability to dedicate myself to a daily goal and complete it. Not just any goal -but a WRITING goal. Writing everyday is like going to the gym. It is difficult to get into the routine of writing regularly at first but once you are in the groove it just becomes something you do like taking a shower or eating dinner. This is true for most ANYTHING in life that you need to do in repetition to be better (eating healthy, playing an instrument, etc.).
The exercise for today is to Free Write for 20 minutes. The timer started as soon as I typed the first sentence. I’m a big believer in stream of consciousness writing to get the brain working so I enjoy exercises like these. They say that writing is like a muscle and they are right (write?). There are more people who don’t write anything claiming to be writers than those that are actually in the trenches cranking out words. The actual literary foot soldiers do not have the time nor desire to vomit on their social feeds about their accomplishments. But the “wannabes” sure have plenty of time to tell the world what they are (not) doing.
I had plans this year for my writing. I composed a big list of all these literary competitions I was going to enter. The list just stares at me from my starred email items now as my fiance and I had a baby in February. He was very early at 32 weeks or so. With the new addition to our family my work suddenly became a priority as my primal need to be a provider took over my artistic side. Being a legit family man and the sole income generator shifted me into a new mindset that is already barely being held up by a questionable foundation. Things are settling down now and available time to work on my own interests is creeping back into my life. This makes me a happy guy as I don’t quite feel whole if I am not progressing or accomplishing SOMETHING everyday.
I do feel a tinge of anxiety about even making this post. If you were to judge my writing 100% on this website I STOPPED sometime five years ago. This will be the first post I have made in a VERY long time and here I am going to slam 20 of them in a row? If that doesn’t put my feet to the fire to actually write more -nothing will. Even going back and listening to some of these Podcasts I made and thought were BAD makes me a bit nervous because the reality is this: “They are actually pretty good.” So there is something here…
The funny thing though about writing is the romance within ones mind about it. For most aspiring writers it is like a lover you watch from a great distance but have never actually talked to. You can’t even really see her features but oh you see her form and you imagine what a wonderful life you could have together. You play it out so much in your mind that you never actually go an talk to her because it can’t get any better than what you have already imagined.
But it isn’t true and you are not being honest with yourself. You owe it to yourself to go out there, REALLY get dirty, shamed, embarrassed, experience REAL victory and experience the reality of what it means to write.
Time Spent: 20 Minutes
Music: Halestorm’s album “Strange Case of…”
Danny Machal April 6th, 2015