“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There is no way around these two things that I am aware of, no shortcut.” — Stephen King
I have never read one of Stephen King’s stories, and I am not even certain I want to be a writer. I will take the man’s advice anyway.
I try to read a lot, from books to blog posts to articles that I gather into Pocket. So I have that part covered. Now it is time to write again. I wrote a lot for school and for Pirates Prospects, but those were required tasks to get a diploma or United States currency.
For the last few Januarys, my New Year’s resolution has been to write every day for the following year. I never followed through on it. Self-improvement? That’s loser talk!
Somehow, it seems like the right time to make good on this “write every day for a year” idea. Dorseyville Middle School had posters defining what makes a smart goal: SMART. Apparently the concept developed from George T. Doran that goals should be:
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
My goal seems to fit the criteria. I’m going to write one blog post every day for the next 365 days. Sounds SMART.
So… what will I write about?
If you follow me on Twitter and pay even a smidgen of attention to my tweets,
I’m very very sorry you have some idea of my interests. These include (again in bullet form. It’s a blog!):
- Advanced metrics in sports
- Digital journalism
- Social Media
- Apple devices
- TV comedies
- The Olympic Games
- Theme Parks
- Horrible, horrible “jokes”
I already have some ideas for a few of the next 365 days. You can expect posts mostly revolving around those topics listed, along with whatever tickles the fancy of a thus-far-unemployed 22-year-old who has more free time than he has good sense.
There will be a decent portion of navel-gazing (It’s a blog!), though hopefully four years at fancy writer school have conditioned me to consider the audience — more specifically, how little the audience cares about what I ate for lunch. Pasta with pesto.
At the same time, I am doing this for free. I will often write about whatever I damn well please. Why don’t you take it and shove it into your RSS reader? (I recommend feedly.) There are many people out there who have no trouble writing every day. We call these people “writers.” But this is more of a commitment for your ol’ pal James, so I want to have a wide range of possible topics from which to pull.
So what won’t you see over the next year? I probably won’t write much about personal relationships, which is kind of a shame because that kind of writing can be super interesting and juicy when it is done well. See: My Week on Tinder, a delicious romp through casual dating from comedian Christina Walkinshaw.
Another goal of this project is for me to get into the habit of editing and revising. If I am going to be a journalist, I need to practice those activities. I’ll aim to step away from a post for a while and come back and re-read it before publishing. That wrinkle (and my erratic personal schedule) will mean some posts go up at 2 a.m. and some go up at 6:30 p.m. The goal remains the same: one new post, every day until August 11, 2015.
Ohhhhhhh-kay, I think all that business is out of the way. My real hope here is that you, the reader, enjoys this lil’ project. Many of you have tweeted at me that you enjoyed my writing at Pirates Prospects. Some of you have even told me in-person, and I was probably super awkward about it! Either way, it really does mean the world to me that anyone is taking the time to read the words I write, let alone actually deeming it “good.” So I thank you.
As for housekeeping: best ways to reach me are by email (email@example.com) or on Twitter (@JamesSantelli). Friends and family will tell you I have only two modes: (1) on Twitter, (2) sleeping. Hell, I even have a hashtag for this charade: #BlogForAYear. Maybe some similar nutjobs will join me and try out their own mid-year New Year’s resolutions. Your life starts today, not on January 1. Let’s do this.
By the way, this counts as Day 1.