Earlier this year, I made the a decision which can easily be the best or the worst in my life: I set a goal that I will write around 830 words a day, which gives 300,000 words a year.
I always assumed that when eventually I got nothing better in my life, I could write, as it was some kind of back up plan. The fact is, writing wasn’t some kind of plan, it was more of some sort nature reaction, or to put it more precisely, an exist of some kind. Any thing that I do, will eventually be written done. Books that I read, sports that I watched, music that I played, I write about them, or just about any other things happen in life.
An ambition of mine, is that some day I will write a novel. A fiction, which hopefully I will like, and with a great deal of luck, some other group of people will enjoy as well. For some reason, the things I wrote are rarely novels, or stories, and I personally take fictions as the highest form of writings. The ability of making up worlds filled with living characters amazed me, I’m thrilled that if I could ever create some thing that is enjoyable and persuasive.
There is a tiny insignificant problem with this little ambition: I don’t know how to write a fiction. I suppose that people are usually given one of the two talents when it comes to writing: the talent of argument, or the talent of description. My ambitions was on the latter one, while it seems what I was given has more to do with the first.
I partially blame this to the bilingual environment that I’m living in. If I were broken up into 2 people, the English me and a non-English speaking me, the one that speaks this language that I’m currently writing in was a typical engineer: a people wouldn’t know how to write in a way that differs on the way he speaks, which is a way that would see all over the internet: lack of depth, with no literal enjoyment, and very limited when it comes to describe anything more than the daily trivial.
On this English speaking side of me, I’m an Engineer who lived a rather “technical” life, anything that requires me to communicate to a real person would be something that out of my job description.
On the other side of things, the non-English speaking side of me, would never attempt to achieve the goal of fictional writing in the way that I’m doing now. This is a typical engineer’s attempt on solving a problem: start with what you have, move fast, breaking things then repair them, get better by repeating, more discipline involved then inspiration.
At this point, although I’m under target by quite a bit, I have to say that seeing myself already 2/3 of the way makes me feel pretty achieving. Although I wouldn’t say I’ve actually achieved anything at the this point in fiction writing, I do admit that I learned some thing about this art, and on writing in general as well.
As a side achievement, two of articles that talks about sports are promised to be published on magazines; a series of little stories about a previous roommate of mine was somewhat likable among a few friends; I’m having plans on writing something that is more close to an actual fiction project than just “target practices”.
The downside, meanwhile, is that when you set the number of words as a goal for writing, you tend to add pressure to yourself on something that doesn’t actually mean anything at all. It is like estimating the building process of a plane by how much of its total weight have been put on to it; or how many lines of programming code the team have put into a software. I even wrote a little script to monitor my progress on the number words I’ve written down and the how much I’m under target.
Soon I realize there is a problem with this measure: although the goal is entirely my own, when I’m too much under target, I still came up with ways to cheat the system. I notice that if I were to wrote English, the world count part of the script will be inflated, thus I’m writing what I’m writing now.
Again, I suppose this conflicting nature of people are in each and every one of us. But the point here, if there is any point at all, is that if there is a goal one attempt to reach, the only bad thing that can happen is to stop reaching it. Whether you reach your goal or not, you still harvest the journey of reaching it, but once you stopped, there will be no harvest, only self despair, defeat, and sadness I suppose.
I might be slow from to time to time, but I don’t stop.