One Thousand Words A Day
What the Hell are You Doing?!!
I am a writer. I write.
Initially, I wrote rants. I’d focus on a topic that pissed me off and I’d rant about it. It was a good release and it was done during the infancy of web blogging. I looked at it as an exercise in web design maintenance, html content editing, and free thinking, liberated thoughts. Some of my essays were a bit touchy. Some were funny. Some were downright psychotic. But each inspiration was built upon the same kind of need and reward that birthed Robert Fulghum’s essays as they were published in All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.
My initial website, Vikar’s Rant, was written from 1999 to 2010, a little bit at a time. I watched my attitudes change with my writing as the political landscape and my personal philosophies had changed in that period. I’d also added jokes that friends of mine would email to me and left them on a page that evolved into its own monstrosity; one so large and demanding that at one point I’d gotten an email from a young woman who told me that she’d started to print them out and read them to her dying grandfather.
She said it brought a bit of sunshine to him every day until he passed.
When I finally brought Vikar’s Rant down, I did it more out of necessity as a job hunter rather than out of shame. I remember having some moments of brilliance and was proud of the following I’d attracted. However you have to remember that when you publish incendiary blogs, you court the danger of angering not only your present employers but future ones as well.
So, I stopped writing… for a while.
I started writing articles on what to do during a zombie outbreak and how to prepare for one. I was inspired by Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide and I let my natural talent for planning take me into a farfetched world of monsters, infection, power outages, human maniacs, and real life paranoia.
Recently, I was lucky enough to get a short story published. I was, and still am, eternally grateful to a friend of mine that put the flea in my ear to write something that involved writing a classic fairy tale that had zombies in it. I wrote The Undead Rose, which was a version of “The Briar Rose”, and with that the undead marched on in a world of contagion within the boundaries of a castle from the land of make believe. It was published in an anthology of other young writers (with an intro from Jonathan Maberry) in a collection called Once Upon An Apocalypse.
And that was when I discovered that I liked writing and I loved the English language. I wanted to write things that would make people smile or keep them entertained… and sometime I just wrote stories just to creep people out.
But the one thing I really started to discover was that if I was to be any good at this in the long term, I’d have to do this every day.
That’s what this is about.
The Zen of Writing
Recently, my last employer invited me to investigate opportunities in other corporations – loosely translated, I was axed. When this happens, it forces you to reevaluate things. It has also given me the opportunity to take some of this excess time after doing a job search and do some self-improvement.
In doing that, I picked up Ray Bradbury’s book on writing, The Zen of Writing. In it, he shares the secrets of what has kept him writing and he does an admirable job infecting the reader with his lifelong passion of the written word.
What he stresses is that you should write every day. If you miss a day, you might see the difference in your writing quality. If you miss two days the critics might see the difference. If you miss three days the fans will see it.
So, he stresses that you should learn to write 1,000 to 3,000 words a day. Your brain is a muscle and you need to exercise it. You need to keep the words flowing and to keep your voice active. When you start to cultivate ideas, you need to set up the mood of your story and know that the right words will come to you when you want them.
Write Every Day
Miss One Day
You know the difference
Miss Two Days
The critics know the difference
Miss Three Days
Everyone knows the difference
If you’re writing a story, you shouldn’t be writing your story – your characters should be telling you the story. All you are is the vessel. You should ask them the questions of what happened and what did they do. You are the story teller. When the story comes, you need to tell it in a way that will bring the reader to the character and they will live the story through their imagination as it is set on fire with your words.
When you hit that zone, it should come easily through practice and that the muse is a force that has found fertile ground within your life and your experiences.
And then you open up. And then you bring the story forth. And then it lights up a place within the imagination of the universe you just built to exist within the confines of the printed page or a glowing monitor.
You get to be God for the time you write and the world you make is done to your tailored specifications.
So… a thousand words a day. Sounds like a plan.
What I need from you
No man is an island and I certainly don’t want to be a peninsula, either.
If you’ve found my page by either being one of my fans or know me from Facebook, I think I may need your help. I’m looking to write a bunch of articles for Hubpages.com. I’ve fell out of the habit of writing a few articles a month and I need to write some articles.
In saying that, my Facebook friends have been kind enough to suggest some writing topics. They wrote about 20 article suggestions that have some real potential. I’m going to go through those old suggestions and use the time I have to write and research them.
If you have an idea for me or would like to write on something particular, please feel free to mention it within the comments section. I promise, I’ll give you credit for the inspiration. And it will give me a challenge as a writer.
In the meantime, I will also be working on different voices. Some of my more snarkier voices I keep for comic book analysis – but it doesn’t mean I’ll limit it to just that. If you feel that I should write something with snarky set on the maximum setting, please – oh my God! PLEASE!! – mention this and I will be snarkier than Snarky McSnarksnark who snarked all day at an all-day snark off.
Yes, this means I’ll take requests.
You’ve been warned.