“Tap here to begin writing”. That is the very simple instruction given in the WordPress app on the iPad when you hit the new post button. If it were only that simple. Writing is hard for me. I know people who write every day, and they often make it look simple. For me writing is a bit of a struggle. Not that I don’t have things to say, I do, but sitting down to put my thoughts on “paper” does not come easy for me.
I’ve had a blog for over 10 years now and it has served mostly as a sort of digital scrapbook, a place for me to stash links and snippets of sites that caught my attention. Mixed in there is some actual writing, but I’ve probably thrown away more than I’ve posted. Weirdly the blog has often acted like a sort of deterrent to writing, a looming presence were I should be writing, but I don’t. It pushes out the possibility of writing in another medium or venue.
When asked how they write, writers often say that they just sit down and write for a certain amount of time, at a certain time. They seem to be citing a particular discipline that creates the right environment for writing. This notion also fosters the idea that writing can be a skill that is developed with regular practice. I’m going to put that idea to the test.
I work at home, and as a developer of webby things I spend a lot of time sitting in my chair in front of a bank of computers. This is not a recipe for a healthy lifestyle. And I’ll be turning 50 in less than a month. I’m not a complete couch potato though. I walk a 3 mile circuit regularly, alternating with exercise program that works my upper body. I’ve made time in my day to get this exercise in and it really gets my day off to a good start. Now I’m thinking that I’ll expand this exercise program to include a daily dose of writing.
The plan is to spend 30 minutes a day writing, probably in the morning while I have a cup of coffee and before exercising. The goal is to regularly kick out 500 – 600 words during the 30 minutes. As far as topics go, I’m not too sure of that yet. Probably some mix of tech stuff and free form verse, I’ll just have to see where this goes.