When Ray Bradbury approached a group of writers at Point Loma Nazarene University, he gave them some advice: write one short story a week for a year, because it’s impossible to write 52 terrible short stories in a row.
Now, I am adapting his challenge a bit. I will not be writing 52 short stories. Some might be short stories; some, poems; some, personal reflection; maybe even stuff I’ve written for classes, if I find it pertinent. I don’t want to limit myself to a single mode. But the basic framework will be the same: 52 weeks, 52 posts.
I’m starting this blog for a few reasons. The first is to practice some basic self-discipline. Writing is my first love. But it’s not always the easiest thing to love. At times, inspiration feels dried up. Words don’t cooperate. Characters won’t show me their true colors. But in love, one must have commitment, so this is a first step in that. Knowing that I have a weekly deadline and knowing that there are other people out in the world who might actually hold me to that is incredibly helpful for me.
But the second reason is that I want to get over my crippling fear of showing my work to others. My writing is so close to my heart that I often fear what others will think of it. I fail to finish my work out of feeling like it isn’t perfect enough. I don’t show anyone anything because I’m afraid of their opinion. Well, I’m saying right now that enough is enough. Suppose you don’t like what I write. Suppose what I write isn’t good. No one has to read something they don’t like. And the only way to get better at anything is to practice it. Nothing on this blog will be perfect. Most of it won’t be polished. If it’s impossible to write 52 terrible pieces in a row, then it’s definitely impossible to write 52 good ones.But, whether good or bad, by no later than 10:00 a.m. every Monday, there will be something.
I know 52 new pieces is ambitious. But I have to start somewhere, right? There will never come a day when I “have time” to write. There will never come a time when inspiration is there for me to access at any moment I choose. If I can make time for Tumblr, I can make time to do something that makes me feel alive. And if it means I have to “seize the night” and work a little later and a little harder, then that’s what I want to do. I hope you’ll join me on this little endeavor!
Everything on this blog is property of Jacqueline Gordon. Don’t plagiarize. If you do you will make me very sad.