Thursday, December 19, 2013

Writing challenge - 800 words every day



So here’s a challenge that I am throwing at myself for improving my thought process: writing 800 words every day, for the next 10 days.  In all, I will be informally and creatively writing 8000 words.  The topics could be random, ranging from mundane subjects like a bug’s life to something complex as complex as  Quantum thermodynamics; something pleasant like rainbows and shit to something hardcore like 4chan or the holocaust.  These writings will be private to me, unless there’s something worth publishing online.  I am sure there will be a few nuggets that will be impersonal and befitting the online diaspora.
Now why 800 words, you ask?  I read online that someone wrote 750 words a day for a month.  For me, maintaining a streak of 30 days for any activity would be difficult.  Hence, I bumped up the word count and reduced the streak to 10 days, something I feel will be challenging as well as manageable.  Today being the first day, I plan to write about writing.  I plan to choose certain topics for my upcoming WritathonsTM . 
Writing in itself is a pleasurable activity, especially when it’s an extempore sort of writing.  There are no bounds to what can be spewed on a blank canvas.  It’s like painting, just easier and lesser hard work.  The tools required are minimal, a computer with notepad.  It’s sufficient unless you want to add jazzy graphics and trendy fonts.  Even that can be accomplished with Microsoft Word.  I would suggest Google Docs, but then it requires you to be online and that means distractions.  A quiet place with no internet connection and your phone on silent mode is a good atmosphere to practice this.  Traditional pen and paper are good, but then safe disposal is an issue.  Let’s say you jotted down the darkest of your thoughts and due to inefficient disposal ways, someone found it, and that someone happened to be a spouse or child or parents or siblings or best friends.  I can vouch that when luck’s running foul, everything goes wrong.  I am sure the past holds instances of quarrels due to such incidents.  Now digital memoirs are no safe if sufficient care isn’t taken.  First rule; never be online if you wish something to be a secret.  Remember, the best secret is the one that does not exist.  If you think the Google Docs or Blogger posts are secure and private, think again.  The best option is to create a folder and write all your crap in that folder.  Once you are done and wish to safely dispose it, just shred the folder using your anti-virus or disk cleaners.  Remember, computer memory is never cleared unless overwritten. 
This all might sound scary, but remember, never entrust corporations with your personal information.  Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft hold the maximum online data about users.  There have been allegations and punitive actions on them for breaching user privacy rules in spite of their repetitive assurance.  I, for one, don’t trust them.  I would rather keep my private data on my computer and back it up on a USB memory stick and an external hard drive; yes, two backups.  This might sound paranoid to you, but better safe than sorry. 
Coming back to the creative part of writing, I feel it’s like a divine intervention.  I have heard writers say that they unexpectedly are enshrined upon by an idea so obsessive that they have to jot it down, else it’s lost.  It’s like a bout of lightning, if it’s not capture at the right moment, it never will be.  Several artists from all walks of art have complained this at one point or the other in their life that sometimes they are not in a position or condition to exploit the divine idea that struck them because they were driving, swimming, on vacation etc.  This is heart wrenching if the idea is lost.  It could make or break careers; and we all know how mentally hypersensitive artists could get.  One writer advised that an artist should consider their art as an external entity that bestows them with grace unexpectedly.  This would help them overcome the crippling anxiety.  She (the writer was a female) even suggested addressing the entity aloud, something like “Can’t you see I am driving?  Is this a good time to shower your boon? Eh?  Go away and please look for a less inopportune circumstance!”  She said that worked for her!  An artist spending a life in depression is a common thing since the olden times.
It gets really difficult in the last few words of the essay, inching towards 800 words slowly, cheating a bit by quoting crap.  In the last sentence in my essay I will only say that life is complex and no single solution is sufficient.  Peace.