There’s Gotta Be A Better Way

I’m now just past a full week into my new job at a local bank (which I’m going to continue not mention the name of) and it’s really been fantastic. My co-workers are fantastic people whom I can see myself working with for quite some time; the job can have it’s challenges, but I haven’t seen anything that can make me think there’s going to be an insurmountable challenge; I’ve got my own desk which I’m going to be decorating with things as soon as I can figure out what exactly should go in there. By the way, if anyone can tell me if I can take either of my Scott Pilgrim action figures out of the box, tha’d be a big help. They’re both discontinued, so I have no idea what they’re worth. I’d like to put one of those on my desk if I can. I’m starting to hit a regular schedule for the first time in over a year, and honestly, this is the perfect time to get myself back on track.

I’ve barely written in the break between working at the store and now working at the bank. I’ve locked down a 15 page script for an episode of Regular Show (which won’t be leaving my laptop) that I like quite a bit. I’ve written a few blog posts (which are mostly “woe is me” type posts), but otherwise, my writing really stagnated.  I didn’t have reviews to write for Friday Night Death Slot (which I still miss greatly), I didn’t have papers that were due, I just was in a spot where there was nothing going on and the nothingness just kind of took over. I didn’t write anymore and every day just ended up being more of the same. Now that I’ve got a job, I can’t really afford to let myself do that, especially since I know I’ve got ideas coming out of my head all of the time, and a lot of them at least deserve the chance of going down on paper and possibly flourishing. So as of today I’m making yet another writing promise. Do I know if I can keep it this time?  I’m not completely sure, but I’m quite confident that I can genuinely give this one the old college try. I’m willing to give it the college try after reading this quote from a brilliant writer who passed away yesterday.

Sit down at 10 o’clock in the morning and write anything that comes into my head until 12. One of the few things I’ve discovered about writing is to form a habit that becomes an addiction so that if you don’t put something down on paper every day, you get really mean and awful with withdrawal symptoms, and your wife and your dog and your kids are going to kick your ass until you get back to it because they can’t bear you in that state of mind.

– Frank Pierson

For those who don’t know, this is the writer who brought us Dog Day Afternoon and Cool Hand Luke. He was a legend, and moment from both of those films permeate pop culture to this very day. When I read that quote, I realized something:

That is exactly the type of writer that I want to be.

I want to be just as voracious for writing something down as I am for reading, or hanging out with friends, or eating really good meal. I want this to infuse itself everywhere it possibly can in my life, and I want it to become something that’s a part of me. I always enjoy the writing, but I never get started. It’s time for that to stop.

Previously, I used some pretty drastic writing goals to try and keep myself working. I’m going to attempt to make it easier on myself this time through. The chunks are going to be smaller, but are going to cover a shorter time frame. To start out with for at least this week, I’ll be making a goal of writing in one of  two different ways every day: I either have to write eight hundred words in a given day (which is my estimate of a page written in Times New Roman at a twelve point font) OR I need to write two pages of script.

With daily instead of weekly goals, I’m much less likely to put it off till the last moment as well as less likely to just completely forget about it. I can write in my blog, write in word (or another word processor if need be) or write in Celtex for my scripts. Instant Messaging, posting on forums, writing comments on different parts of the internet, twitter, tumblr nor email will count towards that 800 word goal for a given day  (I hit 800 words for today just before this diversion telling you I completed it). If I don’t complete a goal in a given day, there’s no consequences other than marking down that I didn’t write that day.  At the end of the year, I’ll tally them up, see how I did, and try to figure out a way to do better in the next year.

This is an experiment that I’m excited to try and I can’t wait to get into it. I already started today with this blog post alone. Like I said, writing ends up coming easy to me when I actually get started. I’ve well surpassed the goal I set for today and I really feel like I’m just getting started. If you’ll excuse me, there’s a fictional world waiting to be written into existence.

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