One hundred days ago, I signed on for a personal challenge.
A Shaw colleague had been Tweeting his progress on 750words, a site which challenges individuals to write 750 words every day. I signed up for the first monthly challenge.
By a couple of weeks, I was a bit addicted, using the site to formulate blog posts. I was blogging like a mad woman, churning out copy for three or four different sites.
It wasn’t long before I declared myself willing to participate in the 100-day challenge.
Seemed easy enough, right? I can pound out 750 words in 12 minutes, if I put my mind to it.
I would get messages on Twitter from people bowing at my greatness.
“750? I struggle to find 300 words to write some days.”
Look, I love writing.
I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. I wrote some of the worst pre-teen poetry you could possibly read.
I wrote a senior thesis in one weekend.
I turned it into a career. I get paid to write.
It’s a hoot. I love it.
I write. I’m a writer.
I fucking hate this project.
When I get past this 750 words today, when I meet my 100-day challenge that ultimately means nothing in the grand scheme of things … zero, zilch, nada … I will be taking a break.
A good couple of days at least … barring blog posts that come into my head, that is.
I forced myself to write for four days while I was on a mini-vacation in the States, a break very desperately needed from my web writing job here.
I learned I couldn’t use the site to formulate blog posts after a while. I need to think through some ideas or do research when I’m writing on the Flames or shoes or whatever. But the site has an algorithm that counts points … and some points you receive for being speedy and not taking any breaks or distractions for longer than three minutes.
Knowing there are points? My competitive spirit kicked in. The need to get the words out quickly translated into WIN.
I never got to the top of the points column, though. And yeah, that pisses me off. Even for points that ultimately mean nothing.
But I also gave up using the site to write blog posts.
Instead, I turned random streams of consciousness, just barfing words onto the screen in front of me in a hopeless addiction to reach the 750 words.
Oh, and I tried using the shortest words possible. I tried straying away from contractions. I took to spelling out numbers … seven hundred fifty, instead of 750 … going against every grain of my Canadian Press-taught soul.
In fact, I’m trying desperately to come up with 750 words right now just to get to my daily minimum … I’m forcing it, not allowing this blog post to have a natural flow or denouement.
So I am tired of writing.
No, that’s not true. I am tired of this site. I see its blessings, encouraging other individuals who want to write but maybe need a little nudge here and there to get going.
Thank you, 750words, for taking me to this challenge. I have a new one for which I’ll be aiming over the Christmas holidays, but I’ll let you all know what that is closer to the time. (And it’s gonna blow your minds.)
So, dear 750words, it’s been an interesting project for me, but if it’s all right with you, I won’t be back.
Because I love to write and I don’t want you to suck that passion out of me.