You Want to Work Here? (Redux)
My math was off last night (it was three am, cut me some slack). That was my 22nd blog post since I set my goal last December. That means that, including this one, I still have to write 30 blog posts before the end of the year. Not one per week, I know, but it’s the best I can do at this point.
And they can’t be just stupid crap, either. And if I’m going to count this one, then I have to say something other than “I’m going to write 30 blog posts!” So here it goes…
First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for the comments and messages! In the past twelve hours, I’ve gotten a bunch of comments, responses, and “likes” from both friends and strangers, and it means more to me than I can say. Thank you for sticking with this blog (even when I don’t).
So, in the interest of not continuing my 3am self-pity wallow session, I’ve decided to turn problems into opportunities. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- The “thousand word entry” format doesn’t quite work for this blog.
It’s too much. The beautiful and talented Scatterbrained Seminarian has been trying to point out to me, for the past 45 weeks, that my blog entries are really, really long. (She’s kinder about it when she tells me). I haven’t wanted to acknowledge that it might be a problem. I need to dial it back, both from a standpoint of readability (not everyone is going to be into reading what amounts to two full chapters of an average-length novel when they open up Bloglovin or Flipboard or whatever), and sustainability. A thousand cohesive, web-ready words takes a long time (at least for me). I need to learn to edit more, which is weird, because
- I kind of edit way, way too much.
This seems to be a matter of strange balance. On the one hand, words need to be used with care. This is especially true for writing, where words are kind of “the thing.” But I obsess over words. It makes me a really good copy editor, and a really terrible blogger. I’ve stopped work on entries, or trashed them entirely, because I couldn’t make them perfect. Wanting to put out a quality product is one thing, but there comes a point when I just have to let things go and trust myself. My editing needs to be focused: more making things concise and less agonizing over how every grammatical quirk, bit of line spacing, and semicolon usage is going to come across.
- If I don’t make it to 52 entries this year, the world will not end as a result.
And I’ll still be a writer. It’ll be ok. Not that it isn’t an excellent goal (it is), and not that I’m not going to strive to get there (I am), but this, like everything, is a process. Frankly, the idea that I was going to completely reform my writing habits in such a small period of time was extremely ambitious, and at least a little unrealistic. At the time I click “publish” on this entry, I’ll have written more blog entries this year than I’ve ever written in a single year before. That’s a big deal. That being said,
- There is still work to do.
Thirty entries before the end of the year is nothing to sneeze at, even with a month and a half to go. It can be done, even in just thirty days, but they’re not going to write themselves. Furthermore, I don’t get to whine because I’m not in the intellectual environment that I want to be and not at least try to do something about it. I’m surrounded by interesting, intelligent people (and that’s not even mentioning the fact that I have the entire internet at my fingertips, basically all the time). If I’m not having the kinds of discussions that get my mental juices flowing, then that’s at least partially on me. (Here’s a crazy idea: anybody in the Cleveland area up for a burningriverwriting meetup? Grab some wings or coffee or whatever and just shoot the shit? Bounce ideas back and forth? Workshop blog entries)?
There’s still time, and there is no way in hell I’m just going to give up on this. So anyway, here we go. Thank you for reading. More to follow. Much more to follow.