500 word challenge


500 words. Per day. Sounds easy. Which means it probably won’t be, and this reality will really hit home by the end of this, my first, post. That’s 27 though right there…

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. And a photographer. And an artist. And a astro-something-or-other. And all the other things that I’ve always wanted to be and to do. My wife calls my interests fads, and she’d be right. I often get carried away with a new budding passion, or an oft-visited past one. I’m swept away with the latest pursuit for days, or weeks, right up until I realise how much time and effort is needed to become half way decent at it. Not that I’m lazy, more that I lack the faith that I can actually become proficient. Before I know it I’ve closed down whichever avenue of excitement I’ve thrown myself into as quickly as I opened it. Typically, doubt starts to creep in that this is not a worthy use of my time, or I realise that actually it’s not as interesting as I first convinced myself it was, or I allow something else even more wondrously aspirational to take its place. And so I bounce from one glorious interest to another, yielding absolutely nothing along the way apart from an ever growing frustration that I’ll never find my calling/passion/hobby/thing-that-I-do-that-I-enjoy-and-which-fulfils-me.

So nearly 36 years in, and I’m back to creative writing (hello old friend passing acquaintance). My goal is to write 500 words per day, with the aim of forming a habit, and with the hope of getting good. Well, better at least. Let’s not set the bar too high too early; I’ve made that mistake before. Many times.

So, how many’s that? Oh would you look at that, as suspected 500 words is starting to seem like a marathon. It would seem I have to wrangle another 200 odd words into some semblance of a second half of a post.

I guess it’s not the act of writing itself that’s the most intimidating part of this challenge; there’s always more words. It’s the thought of somehow conjuring up a topic per day that I can write something interesting about. Obviously whether what I write is interesting or not is subjective. I’m not sure I’m in a position to make that call. Certainly when I’ve tried something similar in the past I’ve initially thought that it didn’t entirely stink. Then I read it sometime later, become immediately embarrassed not only about my obvious lack of aptitude and talent, but even worse that I didn’t realise this before. Of course if I’m in any doubt I can just read somebody, anybody, else’s work which moves me along that path of self realisation much more rapidly.

And breathe. This right here is the moment that the initial excitement for the endeavour starts to ebb away, and the selection process starts all over again. I need to break this self-defeating cycle, and just keep going. But that’s 500; and that motivates me.

About the author

Jamie Saunders

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By Jamie Saunders

About the author

The author: Jamie Saunders

Personal blog of Jamie Saunders, web developer and general technophile. Jamie is co-founder of the wonderful C3.

Twitter: mustdobetter