Over at The Remainder Table, Theryn responded to a comment I made about what writing counts towards my daily goal.
What started this was New Year’s post, in which she set a goal of writing 500 words six days a week. More accurately, the goal is trying to write 500 words six days a week. I wished her luck, knowing how hard a daily goal like that is. Her response was that any writing counted. I replied that my writing goals surround fiction. That I don’t count blogging as writing. So, today, in the linked post above, Theryn responded more fully. Any writing counts because it’s about the practice. It’s about creating the practice of writing. As she says,
The most important take-away for me from that book (Writing Down the Bones) was the idea of writing as a practice, a process, a way of life—rather than just a means to an end.
That’s where I struggle … and maybe it’s a part of where I need to head this year. I struggle with the idea of there being things that are not a means to an end. You know, I’m the one who lives for tomorrow rather than enjoying today. I’m the one who is constantly racing to the next stop rather than stopping and smelling the flowers. I feel like I’ve spent my whole life racing toward “an end.” Part of what I aspire to in 2013 is to slow down, accept more of what is, and stop worrying so much about how what I do today may impact tomorrow or next year.
You see, writing for me is a means to an end. My fiction that is. Although, I enjoy writing for its own sake. It’s also something I hope to make a living at some day. Or, if not a living, to provide some supplemental income to make life easier as I begin to wind down in a few years. Yes, I know, there are very few writers who are able to achieve that goal. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, however.
In all my years of searching for something to motivate me and hold my interest, writing has lasted the longest. It fulfills something inside of me (I haven’t yet figured out what that thing is), while also providing a … yes, Theryn, a possible means to an end. Doing something I enjoy immensely that might (a slim might) help me meet my future financial needs.
I get the idea that making writing a practice, a part of me, a part of my daily, or weekly, routine is important. Blogging certainly has filled that role for me the past year. I’ve written more words on this blog, on a range of subjects, in the last twelve months than I thought possible. But, what’s the end to it. What’s the point. It creates a living record of where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I want to go. But, unless I become the next Andrew Sullivan, it leaves me no closer to some very important goals.
I suppose that if I didn’t have my day job, this wouldn’t be so bothersome to me. The reality is that as long as so many hours of my day are taken up with that non-writing job, I don’t have the opportunity to live a writing life. Unfortunately, with that day job, I have such a limited time to practice the art of writing, I do find blogging to be a distraction from the writing that matters the most in the long run. I’ve always been a believer in the long run, rather than in short-term happiness. Maybe that’s wrong, but it’s where I’ve been and … where I’m struggling to escape.
What do you think? Does any writing count?
I just wrote 600 words on this post today. I guess I’ve hit my daily target. 🙂
Theryn: Your serve.