An Experiment

May 21, 2018

I’ve decided to try a little experiment: publishing something every day for thirty days, limiting the length of each post to between 150 and 300 words. I chose those particular constraints hoping that the post length will be long enough to allow me to ask a good question or begin exploring an idea, but short enough that I won’t be able to publish free-writing dumps. The daily requirement is inspired by a couple of things, foremost my experience with twice attempting National Novel Writing Month (finishing once) and a daily memory drawing practice a friend of mine maintained for a year.

I’m not sure whether this will end up being a productive experiment, but there are a couple of outcomes I’m hoping to see. First, the threat of having to write something every day will get me to look for things to write about, and to think more carefully about things once I’ve seen them. James Somers wrote “You should write because when you know you’re going to write, it changes the way you live.” I want to cultivate that kind of curiosity. Second, the shortness of each post will encourage me to write about more than one or two things over the course of the month. In the past I’ve spent days or weeks tinkering with a single long post, often ultimately losing interest in the writing before finishing anything. Deciding ahead of time to limit the length might lower the barrier to writing about a topic.

Three hundred words have already crept up on me. The length might be too short; thirty days in a row might be too long. But it seems like an interesting thing to try.