Fiction Writing

Return of the Metablog: 500 words a day

I haven’t written here in months. I’ve been doing some posting on my other blog, but that’s more based on a reflex to react to the news than any writing impulse. And I do have writing impulses. I’m tired of dropping “big ideas” after 3-5000 words, never to pick them up again. And I’m tired of trying to work with hamfisted character and plot concepts, because outlining that at the beginning surely allows you to be creative (pro-tip: it does not).

I have an idea. It’s vague, and it exists partly (mostly? who knows) as a vehicle to ruminate on both a long-term anxiety of mine and a bunch of short-term bullshit. If I keep thinking about it, then clearly there’s something worth writing there, right? Well, maybe not, but my broader concept is one I keep returning to…so at least the bones of my story aren’t disappearing. There is something in here I want to write about.

There is a slight hiccup: I have no plot. Or maybe I do, and it’s just hiding.

What I need to do is take these high concepts, these characters, and this setting, and write about it. I need to write to develop any of these ideas, to make this mystical plot thing appear, and to actually get my mind organized around this activity again. I don’t want this to be another dropped project, I want to work at it and make it to the end.

So here’s what I’m doing: 500 words a day, every day, no matter what. They can suck, they can be decent, whatever. If I want to get a first draft, I probably need to be better at accepting that terrible writing is better than no writing, and getting into a writing habit that involves less self-criticism. That comes later.

This is also why I’ve decided to push this blog to Facebook again. I want to write a novel, damn it, and public shame is a great motivator. I admit I have an ego about these things, so why not use it for constructive purposes?

So that’s that. Starting tomorrow, Thursday, August 21st, I will write 500 words a day, every day, until I come to the end of this project. Then, if I am really serious about being a writer, I will continue to write 500 words a day, every day, because a writer is what I want to be. This post is over 400 words. So really, it can’t be that hard, right? The key is not stopping even if it is.


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