So obviously my grand ambition of maintaining a blog with regularity has failed to launch, if you could not tell by the vast stretch of time between this post and my last one. And, in honesty, I’m not at all surprised. The ultimate goal of the blog was to establish a cyber identity for myself—something that I could point to when publications came knocking, to say, See, I’m a real writer! I have a web presence! Just like Neil Gaiman and Taco Bell!
But it’s difficult to maintain a blog solely for the purpose of establishing a web presence, especially when every word you type is time and energy purloined from competing projects. Too many times I’ve started a blog post only to see my list of half-finished projects and fast-approaching deadlines beckon me from my desktop, and summarily abandoned whatever lengthy rant I was crafting about the dearth of fart jokes in contemporary Weird fiction.
The other factor contributing to the lack of content is, of course, the fear of putting out subpar work. What few posts I have thrown up here are the end result of endless rechecking, re-writing, nail-biting, and halfhearted rollovers of the “Post” button before cowering away and rereading.
This is unproductive. Moreover, it’s a wasted opportunity to practice the craft.
So, an idea:
I’m on my lunch break right now, typing this at the computer lab on the second floor of my office building. This is free time during the day. Free time with a hard limit.
I want to use this time to experiment.
30 minutes. One blog post. Whatever happens in that time is posted.
No hemming, and even less hawing, about inelegant sentences, awkward phrasing, incorrect word usage, or verdant ideas. I don’t have time for that. As I sit here typing this, I can see the time slowly counting down the seconds until I need to return to my desk. I only have the time to put words on page—not stress about my use of the word “widdershins.”
I remember once attending a lecture during my MFA program in which I learned that the secret to a good blog is “being okay with B+ writing.” Speed and, dare I say, recklessness are essential to the healthy growth of a blog. The willingness to put fingers to keyboard and just keep typing regardless of what nonsense spills out haddock haddock haddock.
I’d like to continue this experiment, pushing myself within this afternoon time slot to come up with something—anything—that can be hoisted onto my blog for the world to see.
Stay tuned for some of the B-plussiest writing you’ve ever seen.