Project Monday Update
No scorecard this week. I left for New Orleans last Thursday and won’t be back until late tonight. My goal for the trip was to divorce myself from technology – no laptop, no checking messages. Fuck everything. So, for all I know, Greatsociety blew up early Thursday morning and all these posts have been lost. Originally, I planned for no posts this week, as I anticipated that I’ll be on the blood machine in a haze after five days in NOLA…but I’m a little bit ahead of myself.
I’m writing this on Monday the 8th, and I figure I’ll just do a sort of Project Monday in Review post. “Project Mondays” is the third GS-related writing challenge, because the only way I’ll ever write anything is if I adopt some impossible and idiotic challenge.
First there was the serials project, where I set out to write a close-ended short story of 10-12,000 words each month. I actually liked a few of the stories I was kicking out, but it was starting to get old and I jumped at a new challenge, issued by a friend, to write a full, finished, marketable novel in four months, competing against him and the December 15th due date of his baby. But this “Two Novels and a Baby” project quickly fizzled. The discipline required to write a novel demands much more time than I have available. The serials project was a success only because I split the 12,000 words into 3,000 word chapters and plowed through them without looking back. Highly-structured flash fiction, if you will.
As I dropped Two Novels and A Baby, I considered returning to the serials project when a friend of mine, having just been introduced to Greatsociety, encouraged me to go with vignettes detailing my past, my thoughts, and whatever weird internal monologue I have going on. She told me not to worry about form or length or tone. If a post is 300 words, fine. If it’s 10,000, whatever.
Her idea came on top of another writerly friend’s suggestion that I go with the theme of the serials project and not actually think about what I’m writing. Just turn off my brain, my doubts, my fears, and rant away.
To round off the idea that this is a “challenge,” I set some rules for myself: All of the articles need to be written within two hours, at work, on Monday. I can’t go back and edit them unless I happen to catch some glaring typo. Once done, I read through them, run the spellchecker, then program them for the week. Done.
So far, so good. In fact… I’m a week ahead. Today I’ve plowed through seven articles and a ridiculous cartoon. During my New Orleans trip, I’m taking a notepad along and plan to write drunken, illegible rants. Maybe I’ll just scan those in next week and let you decode them…
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