I write, therefore I…uh…erm…

It occurs to me that, what with one thing and another – mainly deciding which cool blog widgets to install – I’ve embarked on a writing project without actually explaining what that project is, properly. So for the benefit of all [glances at new statcounter widget] two of my audience, also a freebie entry for yours truly:

It all started round about when summer ended. As it happens, I’m one of those mildly annoying people whose internal calendar is permanently set to September = time to get serious. So I looked around for something really meaningful to fix, some life change that really needed me to pitch in and exert the willpower to the utmost, and came up with…

…well, after the total wardrobe overhaul got shot down in flames over the $110 peasant blouse, it was either this or cutting down on the chocolate intake.

In all sincerity, I am in serious need of some literary self-discipline (and not just the kind that stops me from whining to friends about lack of feedback). Frankly, as a right-brained person stuck for the moment in a left-brained universe, I could use some mental feng shui anyway; and owing to a lifetime spent as a voracious pop-culture omnivore, am used to finding it in the oddest corners possible. Put it all together and you have the ideal candidate for hardcore blogging.

Which dovetails neatly with the regime recommended by humour writer – I like taking creative advice from humourists, we’re clearly on the same wavelength – Patrick McManus, who advises that the best way to ‘figure out if you’re a writer or not’ is to set up a schedule that allows you to write for two hours straight a day, every day. Write anything, even total nonsense; just write. After six months, he claims, you’ll have the craft down cold. Or not.

Sounds plausible…excepting the part about the two full hours a day. Apparently this regime is supposed to train you up to be a starving writer with no social life except cats, which is a bit too traditional even for me.

So…the self and I have compromised on an hour a day for a year. Enough time to get something started, and maybe get excited enough about it for it to become self-propelling. God and whatever skill he gave me willing, at the end of that time I will if nothing else have learned to get through an entire paragraph on only one adjective.

And you, the reader – you two are still reading, right? – will be there every step of the way. Because I plan on posting the results right here to this very journal. A daily adventure into the mind of a thirtyish buyer’s assistant with the Barenaked Ladies on her iPod, Rex Stout on her bookshelf and about twenty fuzzy little stuffies on her desk. I may fall down on the Dr Who references, but MST3K – not to mention the entire opening lineup of Teletoon Retro – I am so there.

C’mon, it’ll be…uh…well, we’ll figure something out, won’t we?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shing_
    Oct 07, 2007 @ 00:02:21

    Still reading. πŸ™‚

  2. shoebox2
    Oct 07, 2007 @ 00:06:01

    Still appreciative. πŸ™‚

  3. solo_1
    Oct 07, 2007 @ 09:23:33

    I amd also reading. In fact I will pop in everyday like a coffee break & be entertained. I will be entertained right?

  4. shoebox2
    Oct 07, 2007 @ 11:16:06

    Oh, you wanted to be entertained. Ah. Yes. Well…OK, sure, I think I can do entertaining. Just as long as it doesn’t involve breaking out the LOLcatz. Except maybe on special occasions.

  5. anonymous
    Oct 08, 2007 @ 11:04:21

    So, how are you doing on the hour a day (on, what is it?, day five)?

    Is your LJ your writing outlet, or are we going to get some sneak peaks at other stuff (novellas, short stories, even poems)? I’m a little curious about your process. Do you jot down an outline, even draft longhand? Is there a lot of editing, or do you feel like you have to hit ‘send’ when your hour is up? I feel like I’m getting a glimpse into a totally different mindset. My analytical analytical brain has trouble fathoming creativity.

  6. shoebox2
    Oct 08, 2007 @ 17:49:37

    Day four, thanks much for checking in. Going pretty well so far, although I think for long-term success I may need to modify what I thought was a foolproof ‘watch TV all night in hope of finding material then write until 1am’ method. Luckily starting tomorrow I’m back to reading the subway-paper gossip columns first thing in the morning.

    Seriously…yeah, the idea is to post whatever strikes. I tend to be more of a commentator than anything else, though, so other than the Great Canadian Novel(lette), which early chapters will eventually show up here, this’ll probably be largely a series of short essays.

    I can’t claim to be using a standard process; at least, not the one that was standard in my HS Writer’s Craft class, where we were encouraged to set out an outline, then ‘just write’ our first draft, then go back and edit. For some reason I have always felt more comfortable just beginning with an idea then following wherever it takes me, editing as I go along.

    The result is a kind of stream-of-consciousness crafting process, very fun, and luckily conducive to this kind of experiment. The hour deadline is mostly there to force myself to start something, and to provide a general guide as to length – finishing it happens basically whenever it’s done. πŸ™‚

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