This is an unusual post. I’m going to tell you why I killed my second favorite writing outlet, the account at 750words.com. If you want some back-story, you can read about how the love affair began: Unblocked: etc. This foreshadows today’s murder. The text below is unedited, just as I had written, barely an hour before the ghastly deed was done…
##### ENTRY ##### 2012-06-27, num_words:761, num_minutes:40.8638
It’s time to say goodbye. The joy of babbling has evolved. When I began this journey on January 29th, 2012, I had no idea that I would continue for 145 straight days. During that time, I put up a lot of words. The exercise created a good habit and taught me what it means to commit to a writing schedule.
On June 22nd, a Frenetic Friday, I was so busy with writing software, hanging out with my kids and watching DVDs with my wife, that I completely forgot to “do my words”. That broke my streak. It didn’t dawn on me for a couple of days – during the streak, I was often scrambling to log in before the carriage turned back into a pumpkin.
On the following Monday, I saw something strange. The site told me that I was on a three-day streak! Oddly, I felt as if I had finally been hunted down and arrested for the murder of the town drunk. Now, that is purely an example of the kind of writing that I have done here: I can’t possibly imagine what it must feel like to be caught in a forensic web – I’ve just been watching way too many detective shows. The point is that, well, somebody actually cared enough about the town drunk to investigate. Not only that, the broken streak was like the taking of that drunkard’s life – it could never be undone. Sure the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team managed to put together two such streaks but, there’s two important differences. First, they had a goal: the Final Four. Second, the streak was a by-product of their main activity.
Within the realm of writing, journaling is an important habit but it is not the main activity. I have a goal of producing interesting content. No streak can be a by-product of the creative process. I suppose if you try hard enough, you can refute that last statement. but, what would be the point? Exactly. That’s why it is time to say goodbye.
Goodbye, dear 750words. Goodbye, my private, electronic ear. You have been better than a therapist! By allowing me to write my way out of whatever states I found myself in, you have helped me to generate solutions to thorny problems. Some of my software enhancements manifested themselves within your clean, uncluttered writing space. A good bit of our dear Alicia was created here, where she awaits patiently for my return to Race2Hugo.net.
In fact, a whole slew of conscious creation emerged from the depths of my random synapses. Or whatever. Stupid sentences, clever word play, awful vignettes that will never be seen by anyone. Yet, there are good ideas waiting to be picked up, polished and expanded into full content offerings.
So, where do I go from here? First, let me explain why I’m leaving. Focus.
Now, let me explain how I hope to maintain the benefits of journaling. Somewhere, between all of the ebooks I’ve been reading and the blog posts I’ve been checking out, I saw an idea about writing every day on the subject of my business. At this pinpoint on the spacetime continuum, the advice works for me. I can talk about the software that I have been building. It won’t be daily, but it will be more consistent and focused.
The stream-of-consciousness writing will continue. I will use my beloved Evernote to keep track of my babbling. There is an elegance to having EVERYTHING in one place. As it is, many pieces of this journal wound up in different sections of my Evernote.
Well, I’m about to commit a murder. This is the damning note. By the time you read this, the 750words.com account will have been slain. I’ve been exporting the entries on a monthly basis, so I will transfer the whole lot into Evernote. I will use my own software to convert the exported text into something more spaced out for reading.
One thing I will try to recreate is this vast, wide open writing space. Hardly nothing to distract me from putting words down. It has been a wonderful way to declutter my brain. I do have a few stuck items remaining. Nobody really needs to know about those, but I’ll share one, just so you know what I mean:
Somewhere, between all of the ebooks I’ve been reading and the blog posts I’ve been checking out, I saw an idea about writing every day on the subject of my business.
Where the heck did I read that?! Stuff like that.