Everyday, I write 500 words. It’s more than a goal, it’s a way for me to keep creating something. Most of those 500 words you don’t see right away. They’re the 500 words I just force myself to get down.
I do this at oh my gosh o’clock, early in the morning, at a time when even the sun laughs at me because it wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything at that hour. But, that’s the time when I’m not conscious enough to think every idea or word that I’m putting down is terrible. The editor in my brain is still asleep, so, I can get stuff by her.
Which is not to say that it’s always good stuff.
But, it’s stuff that is now out of my head, and in a format that I can start to shape and turn into something. It might be a something that ends up significantly shorter than 500 words. It might end up needing many more words. But, all of that is part of the process. (Yikes. That’s pretentious, isn’t it? Let’s call it something else in the final draft. What do you mean that it made the final draft? Is this mic still on? What do you mean people are reading this part too?)
Where was I? Oh yes.
It’s hard to call yourself a writer if you don’t write.
I have trouble calling myself a writer even when I do write. I think it’s because I know too many people who call themselves writers, and they’re terrible at it. And they never do anything with it and they never get any better at writing, and are an embarrassment to the title. It’s one of those terms they’ve chosen to put as part of their identity, and wear like a badge of honor, but, it has no outside validity. I don’t want to be one of those people. I don’t want to go around saying I am a writer, just for the simple fact that I can call myself one. I want to earn the name, not just use it. I want other people to be able to call me a writer, before I wear it like a crown.
I’m still about 100 words short of my goal for this morning, so, I need to continue, and a stray thought that this needs to be funnier has taken away my rhythm. Thanks for that, brain.
I put a good deal of pressure on myself to create excellent content. It needs to be content that people want to read. Content that they will enjoy. I don’t want to put out anything that will disappoint me or my readers. All ten of them.
Before it can be excellent content, it must be crappy content. And before it’s crappy content, it must first be content.
I want to make a joke about the content being content, but I’m not sure how to do it. I just got to the end of the previous paragraph and noticed it looked like I was saying that my content must first be content, and I wondered how to tell if my content was content, and thinking the homonyms are sometimes a pain in the tush, and I wish that my brain wasn’t so fond of wordplay because it always does that sort of thing and gets me off track.
This post is going to be an even bigger pain in the butt to edit, I can tell you that. And even though I’ve hit 600 words now, I’m not anywhere near a conclusion, so, I either need to keep going right now, or I need to save it and work on it later. Clearly, it’s a draft, and I’m not even sure if this one is anything more than rambling, so it may never even see the light of day.
What was I trying to say here?
I’m trying to say that I write something down everyday. Even if it’s crap. Even if it’s never read by another human being. I do it so that I have something written. Because, if I put it down, on a page, I can do something with it. I could re-write it and edit it and make it better, and then put it in front of an audience. Or I could decide to junk it. I can’t do any of those things unless I have something tangible to work with. Meaningful content doesn’t just appear. It’s got to be ripped out of the brain, then shaped, and polished. And so, I spend my mornings, every morning, ripping things out of my brain when it is numb and when it is half asleep, so it hurts less and barely notices. Then I’ve got something to work with. A place to start.