A Month of “Um” Days

As writers go, I am slow and deliberate. Though I don’t often find it, I can spend hours looking for le mot juste. It’s not the ideal approach for a blogger, needless to say. So this month, as I hoard my psychic energies for a major writing and editing project (more about that later), I’ve had to make what is, for me, a difficult decision about this blog.

No, this is not a farewell to blogging, or even an announcement of a hiatus. Rather, it’s an explanation and an apology for what’s about to happen here for the next month. You see, rather than just give up on writing the weekly, well-crafted post and go dark for 30 days, I’m going to do just the opposite. I will write a post a day (or more) until the end of November. But the writing of each post will be subject to a strict and, for me, highly challenging time limit—one half hour.

It won’t be pretty. I would expect that there will be more than a few grammatical gaffes, a bunch of stylistic infelicities, and the writerly equivalent of tons of “ums” (that’s “erms” for you Brits). Compared to my usual work, whatever you think of it, this month’s posts will be:

  • More personally revealing, less socially useful.
  • Suggestive rather than definitive.
  • Based on what I remember rather than what I research.
  • Written directly in WordPress rather than drafted in MacJournal.

My rules are pretty simple. I have only half-an-hour from start to finish to write the post. I will allow myself to mull the post topic over in advance, and make a few notes, but no advance writing. And I will try to stay more or less on topic—no reflections on my misspent youth, no sports commentary, no streams of consciousness.

Well, there you have it. My time is up, and for better or worse, this post is done.


23 thoughts on “A Month of “Um” Days

  1. I’m looking forward to it as well.
    Just remember Raymond Chandler’s rule — he set aside time each day for writing. He didn’t actually have to write during that time … but he didn’t allow himself to do anything else. No reading, talking, eating, walking around, etc. It was just sit and write or sit and not write.
    It worked for him (and for me. I swear by his system,)

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  3. Thanks, Paul! As a Chandler worshipper, I suppose I should follow his lead. (But you get to drink coffee, right?)

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