Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why this blog exists

Writing a blog, when you don’t have a reason to write a blog, reeks of megalomania and dross. That’s why this blog almost never existed. And yet, here we are, eyeballs to page. It's partly because I want to keep college friends informed of my post-college life; to document NYC, and later the Philippines; to gather a body of current work in case I ever apply for a real writing job; to become rich, famous, beautiful. But this baby was born only when I realized I needed to become a better writer. Since senior year ended, my verb bank has been atrophying; my adjectives are only tangentially accurate; I’m not witty or natty enough; and after college, the equanimity to sit down to write just isn't there. I’ve been a stock tyro, and it needs to stop.

Of course, the easiest way would have been to get a real job. But my applications to internships across the country (Virginia, San Jose, Roanoke) went unanswered, presumably because of my lack of experience. I’m working in publishing this summer, at Abrams Books, but that’s more the business of print, not the intricacies of writing. Of course, if over the summer I land a job at a publication -- say, Grantland -- you can bet my Berkeley 2011 beer mug that I’ll stop writing here. But until Bill Simmons emails me, I’ll be on as peripatetic a journey as he traveled starting out, by writing online, and praying to God a voracious editor reads it.

The only way, then, to effectively improve my craft (other than taking a $9000 4-week class at NYU -- #omgsoexpensive) is to write -- but with accountability and investment. I’ve kept a private journal for 8 years now, writing every day, but there’s no pressure to craft a sentence, primp its meaning, or even go back and edit. I’m starting a blog because, even if 2 people read it a day, I’m held accountable for my prose. This blog is a commitment device, seeing as how my words will start showing up in a google search from now until...forever. Thus the blog. If I’m ever going to take writing seriously, it starts here, and it starts now.

This blog is about writing and psychology. How to write, applicability of psychological concepts to daily life, and tangential interests: the transition from college, guitar, confidence-building, lists, start-ups, juicy gossip, etc. I know -- I'll get more traffic if I focus on just one area, and master it. But if I can't be a polymath in real life, can't I at least try to write like one?  

Couple of rules for the blog:
  1. One post everyday. No exceptions. I’ll provide new content everyday. Some days, it’ll be 2 sentences; maybe a haiku, but you’ll get something. Some times, there’ll be more than one post. Exciting! (This will force me to write, even when I don’t want to.)
  2. My writing only. All content will be new, birthed out for the world to see. No reblogging funny videos or other people’s writing. Everything here will be fresh. (One exception – see number 4).
  3. Every kind of writing. Every week, I’ll have at least 1 post surrounding each: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
  4. No poor writing. This combines the first two rules, but is important enough to merit its own paragraph: I’m not going to write poorly. If I have written poorly, feel free to email me and tell me where I went wrong. If you help me out, I’ll send you a $5 gift card. No lie. We’re all winners here, folks.
  5. Weekly link dump once a week, on Sundays. Rest on the Sabbath. What I’ve been reading and watching, mainly.  

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