450 words down, 182,050 to go

I am going to write at least 182,500 words this year. 500 words a day (apparently the tally will include sentence fragments starting with numbers, AP style be damned. It’s going to be a wild, rebellious year). Why? Because my resolution for the year is to be more disciplined and productive (another sentence fragment, Strunk and White be damned). So I will attempt to publish (on the web or in print) at least one article of some type every day. Emails and Facebook postings and crap like that don’t count, and I promise to avoid writing filler just to make my quota (this post notwithstanding).

When I was a weekly newspaper reporter writing about 10 stories per week, I surely cranked out far more than 182,500 words per year. As a full-time freelancer, I was sometimes less prolific. As a part-time freelancer and full-time stay-at-home dad, you might say I have been at times “anti-lific” (yeah, I’m making up words, Webster be damned), as evidenced by the lack of entries on this blog since June.

Still, I probably wasn’t too far off the 500-a-day mark last year. Each month in 2010, I wrote at least 15 articles, at about 500 words a pop, for Networx, a pretty cool and helpful home improvement information and social networking site. I also had a steady flow of other less regular work for various magazines and newspapers.

However, it keeps taking me longer to write each of those pieces. It keeps getting harder to find time to write, and even harder to focus during the time I find. It’s probably telling that it took me several hours to write this (in short bursts during micro-naps and playtime), and I am currently writing this while being very distracted by “The Worst Cooks in America” (but at least the show is making me feel better about my cooking). I know from experience, and from every book on writing ever published, that the best way to improve your writing is to write — and to read. I hope to do more of that this year, too, and write about it, but more on that later.

I’m already behind on my writing goal. I set the 182,500-word bar late last night while feeding my baby — too late to get in the 500 words for Jan. 1. It’s OK. I’ve got five Networx pieces due by Friday, plus this inane verbiage about my forthcoming verbiage.

I plan to put a lot more words on this blog and my other two little neglected blogs, plus continue to build my paid freelance business. I also hope to draw inspiration from my wonderful baby and offer some help and solidarity for other stay-at-home dads.


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