The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned in My Writing Non-Career

I put a pack of thought into what my first post would be. When you’ve set the beginning date for your blog months in advance, you’ve only yourself and perhaps the unstoppable march of time to blame when controversy ships like The Interview and (to an extent) Charlie Hebdo leave port and all you have to say about them is the bleeding obvious. And first posts should be something special, something that sets the tone for the rest of your expedition into the sea of words that is the Internet. I want to give writing advice, but immediately after I say that I think, “Never trust the writing advice of the unpublished,” which is all I have to dish out. That’s a runner-up for the most important flake of wisdom I’ll give. The real answer is this:

Keep a Writing Log.

This isn't a bad idea either.
This isn’t a bad idea either.

No, what I’m talking about is more like this spreadsheet here. This is my Writing Log.

For the past two years, I’ve kept track of how many pages I write per day (page defined by how much I put on college-lined looseleaf) and recorded it on here, noting which projects I worked on at the time. At the end of two years, I’ve written 1330 pages. And since a page takes more-or-less a half hour to complete, I’m almost 700 hours into my 10,000. I set a weekly goal for myself. Usually it was 14 pages in the past two years, sometimes higher on school vacations, sometimes lower on summer vacations and when dealing with overwhelming problems such as stenosis or depression. I’m not proud of those times when I’ve shirked away from my duty, but they didn’t stop me from writing what’s conservatively estimated as a buttload of stories, skits, papers, letters, even two plays and a novel. Come to think about it, I’m both arrogant and ashamed about this whole record. I marked a lot of 0s on here, true, but I’ve exceeded my overall goal for 2013 and 2014.

Is this how Alt Text Works?
Some of the best years of my life, in the driest and most boring form imaginable.

Of course, some may argue that I’m counting that which should not be counted. Is free writing, where you just writing unhinged as fast and as honestly as you can, worth marking down? I’d argue yes, since 1) You’re creating valuable material by transcribing your pure emotions and thoughts onto something you can reference later, 2) I try to keep this to once a week maximum so I don’t lose progress on my other works, and 3) Shut up, I’m tired. And I can’t defend including a half-hour of typing my scribblings into the computer, or researching a topic, as worthy of a page other than because, well, they’re related to writing and they wouldn’t get done if I didn’t count them as points in this game I’m playing, refereeing, and scorekeeping for. It’s a balance game: even if you fall off onto the “working too much” side, you’re still falling off the tightrope.

I encourage anyone looking to write more to start one of these logs. Turns out I did establish something important with my first post: I let you know how serious about this I am.

3 (Dren, Blog)


2 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned in My Writing Non-Career

  1. Pingback: On Writing With Depression | Word Salad Spinner

  2. Pingback: My Current Writing Schedule (July 2016) – Word Salad Spinner

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