There are two numbers right now, which seem to be defining my existence as a writer.
Oh sure, there are lots of things academically. 500 word essay. 6 page research paper. Cite 10 sources. All sorts of numbers fly by in the pursuit of writing something for school, but they tend to be inconsistent and unimportant. No, when I say there are numbers defining my existence as a writer, I mean my existence as a writer of interesting things. A writer of stories, of essays, of rants, of vignettes, of quotes, of lines, and of anything else there is I can think of to write. Those numbers are 750 and 140.
You might've noticed that I've been incredibly light on actually updating my livejournal recently. There's a couple of reasons for that, notable among them because I've been busy as hell. One of the bigger reasons is because I've been tweeting instead. The other big one is that Tho finally pushed me far enough towards actually signing up for and using 750words.com.
I've been using it for a month now. And it is abso-fucking-loutly *BRILLIANT!*
The idea is the same advice that is given to every aspiring writer by every successful writer --the secret to being a writer is not hard, all you have to do is actually write, every single day. But somehow, having a nice clean website to store your words on, and more importantly, having a nice fun point system to give you that extra inch of incentive, has meant that I've actually had incentive to write, outside of the logical and internal.
It has succeeded where every single other thing in all the world has failed. It has given me a reason to write, every day, because if I don't, I won't get the points for actually doing my writing, and I'll ruin my streaks, and it'll be Just Terrible.
There are two steps I still need to manage. Using it more to write actual stories, as opposed to just personal babble about whatever's on my mind at the time is the less important of those goals --sure, it'd be great to get better, and more consistent, about putting my fiction down onto paper. I'm never going to be a novelist without a finished novel, after all. The other thing I'm lacking is a little more important: I just need to do something with my output, and if they're short little bits of writing, well, that just means I'll be making more short little posts, or longer posts that jump across a lot of topics (see also: rm
). Once I've got that down, well...
750words really is the best toy I've got in my writers toolbox right now.
Now, that being said, you'll note I also babbled something about Twitter in my initial explanation for why livejournal's been so light. Over the last couple years, I've had a twitter account, and therefore, when I first get a stupid little one line thought, I can just toss that in there, instead of on my livejournal. Quoteposts especially have suffered from my increasing reliance on the 140 character format, it's just too easy to drop a nicely worded sentence into twitter instead of making a post.
I'm not really sure how to fix this, and every once in a while (when I'm not tweeting emotastic song lyrics, that is) I will say something on twitter that I think is probably worth reading by a larger audience. This means I either need to expand the one line of brilliance into a lot of babble, make a supershort post
, or do that most dread of things --export my daily tweets to livejournal.
I figure the way to solve that is the same as solving 750words --whenever I write something good enough, just go ahead and drop it in my livejournal anyways. I've spent the last six years making (wait, six? That can't be...holy fuck, six and a half?! Really?!) this journal a repository of everything public I have to say. Consolidation can't hardly hurt.
750 words and 140 characters. Minimum and maximum writing limits, and it's hard to say which has forced more creativity out of me so far. All I can really say is that I do so love being a writer in the era of the internet.
Postscript: That being said, I cannot express in words how frustrating it is to finish a piece on 750words, look at the counter, and realize I'm like...thirty words from being done. I can add a few extra words, but not thirty, and when I'm that close, it feels a little ridiculous to start a whole new thought, because there's no chance I'll actually finish it. Or, well, there is a chance, I just want to finish the first one first.
At any rate, with this post script I've topped eight hundred, so I am just fine with everything ever again. Ta!