500 words or less: the introduction (plus kudos for Jonathan Coulton)02 Aug 2006
I’ve been thinking for a while that I need to write more fiction (and a bunch of people who have read my fiction have told me so too). But I’ve been really bad at writing fiction for a really long time. Recently, I stink at it. I’m boring. I can’t finish anything. So then I was thinking maybe I need to stop being so tense and that maybe I need a. pressure and b. permission to suck a lot.
So here’s the plan. Every day I’m going to open a book at random from somewhere in my house and pick a word. And every day, more or less, I’m going to write 500 words or less about that word. And I’m going to post it here. I started already, yesterday, with Library, and today with Comb, because I forgot to post this intro yesterday. Sorry about that.
500 words or less, every day (more or less). A lot of of the 500 words are going to be plotless (entire stories in 500 words are hard). Some of them — lots of them — are going to be very bad. Many of them may be significantly shorter than 500 words. And, um, we’ll see how long I can keep it up. I’m not so good with the follow through. But that’s my idea.
I got this idea, by the way, from one Jonathan Coulton, a singer/songwriter who writes and records (and releases, for free, on his blog) a song a week (except up until right this very moment I was misremembering it as a song a day, which is why I picked 500 words a day (more or less). Darn! Darn! Darn! I could have gone with a week! argh!). He describes his “Thing a Week” like this:
Posted on 02 Aug 2006 • in blog-archive •
Thing a Week is my forced-march approach to writing and recording. Since September 2005 I have posted a new song every Friday in an effort to keep the creative juices flowing and to prove to myself that I can actually create on a schedule. It’s been a real learning experience – I’m not always happy with the outcome, but I’m learning to let some of the details go, and I’m figuring out how to keep from censoring myself all the time.