5 days I’ve had the new writing tool. The Psion. A little spark in the kindling of writing ideas has ignited and I’m ready to have a burst of content creation again. Sorry, world. But it’s happening. It has been 5 days since I unofficially started the 1000 word per day challenge. The rules? Only a few so far. Only write on weekdays. I’m allowed to catch up on days I didn’t make it. Don’t stop. That’s it. Apart from that, I just need to get going.
I’m always aware that one of the most cost-effective ways to promote an online business is through content creation. I certainly need to boost content output for this website and a few others. But it’s not just about that. Writing is also fun and cathartic, letting you get to the bottom of my thoughts. I know I don’t have to share them with the world, but I’m quite a shameless person in a lot of ways and tend to think that I wouldn’t mind hearing more from others, so hope to write for people who feel the same. I probably don’t get to vent about translation or tech as often as I like either; a lot comes in, not a lot goes out. To be honest, unless you’re hung up on languages or tech, there’s not a lot there to get excited about. Understandable.
It’s also an interesting personal challenge - I like to keep myself on my toes - to see if I have the discipline to stick it at for a while. I don’t know how long. I’m thinking 6 months initially to see some real results. Results in terms of traffic to the sites, sure, but also in terms of writing competence. Technically I might know a few things about how words should be put together, but the only real practical experience I have is in following the styles of others through translation. That might have been training in itself, as novelists copy styles of the greats, I copy the writing styles of the not-greats. You end up developing this very generic patter, I think, after trying to render poorly written or overly complex texts into something an English reader would like to read. It would be very satisfying to have a voice of my own that was somewhat compelling, even comforting, for readers. The kind of prose that drives you along as you read it, making you want more. There’s a magic to that. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, but the only way must be in writing. So 1000 words. Every day. That’s the path I’m choosing. Not to force a style, but hopefully to find one. Something genuine and effective. I’ve left it late in life to do that, perhaps, but what with the inconceivably long infinite nature of time, I don’t suppose it matters too much.
These 1000 you’re reading now are a bit of a cheap 1000. Writing 1000 words about writing 1000 words... how vapid can you get? At least I’m holding myself accountable, so there’s an ounce of value for me there. And perhaps you’ll want to join in or be inspired to draft a quick post of your own if it’s been a while. There might be some value for you too.
I’m just hoping that in 6 months time all of this writing has built a solid backbone of content for prospective clients and colleagues alike to browse through at their leisure. I hope to emerge on the other side with dozens of ideas made clear in my mind and in writing for posterity, an ongoing sense of motivation for each business avenue I’m pursuing and a little more knowledge about how my good friend writing and I are going to get along for the rest of my days.
It’s going to be tough to stick to the plan. I know it will be because I know myself. But if treated like a daily habit, feeding the cat, getting breakfast, then it should become a natural part of the working day. Feeding the word-pet its breakfast. And it will be a breakfast activity - I’m aiming to have them done before the start of the day. If not then the Psion will let me work in the evening, hopefully picking up the slack on missed days.
So far I’ve managed the 5000 words for the week. I haven’t counted, but I sort of tallied as I went along and I think I’ve breezed past it if you count the 2 blog posts sitting on the Psion waiting for the CF card reader to be delivered so they can finally find an audience. You will have to excuse the lack of imagery in my posts for now. I find hunting down a beautiful image a huge distraction and all of my writing tools are currently geared towards distraction-free production. Just. Get. The. Words. Out.
I know what a difference images and multimedia can make to the popularity of posts, studies show it time and time again, but I’m going to have to relegate that job to another time. I’ll include links, if I think it’ll help with context, but otherwise readers will have to use their imaginations. Cue the sound of 95% of web readers scuttling off to brighter, happier corners of the net. Perhaps I can learn to create better images through words as a result of this constraint. That would be a huge bonus. But for now, it’s text all the way. I’m not the *biggest* fan of longform articles, being quite keen on concision, but I’d prefer them over rafts of flashing emptiness any day. Producing endless bullet lists for the skimming masses, punctuated by mountain scenes and rippling water images is not my intention, however nice they are to while away the day on. As per the above, the goal is to drill-down into the very crust of my thoughts and hopefully start to produce a quality body of notes that should form the foundation of Better Things to come.
1023. I’ve gone over. And I’m expected at the pub. I’ll sign off now, and hope to be back at the keys on Monday morning. Your silent support is very much appreciated :)