Last October, I wrote every day for thirty minutes.
OK, fine, I skipped a few days. But I always made up for them the next day by writing for an hour. Really. I carried a journal with me and pulled it out at odd times: on the beach, in line for a bar, while a date was in the bathroom. Whatever. Had to get my 30 in. I did a lot of bad writing! I also did some writing I was (and still am) very excited about.
Here are the things I did not do during that month:
– Edit anything I wrote.
– Reread very much of what I wrote.
– Delete anything I wrote.
– Worry about what the things I wrote were for or how they fit together.
– Show anyone my work.
Here are things I did do, for inspiration, during that month:
– Sat at my desk every night.
– Had a drink.
– Looked through my text messages from my mother (“RAINED HALF THE NIGHT!”).
– If I used a computer, closed ALL other programs, thus rendering it a typewriter with less charming sound effects.
– Had another drink.
– Wrote down every good line I heard, whether on the radio, on the street, or from emails with friends (“You can’t make your sister do everything for you in America.”).
– Told all my friends what I was doing (for accountability as well as for collecting dollaz for Hugo House).
– Went for long walks in the suburbs.
– Mmm, another drink.
– Wrote bad poetry. Just sat down and thought, “Well, this will be a bad poem. Here I go.”
– Tried new forms (erasures? memoir? sure!).
– Wrote a lot of shit.
Of course all that fell apart on November 1, but that’s not what I’m here to say. I’m here to say that Hugo 30/30 was immensely helpful in keeping me writing, keeping me on track, getting me to put words on the page every damn day. October last year was very productive for me. Here’s to another.
Here’s the erasure I tried out — an activity much more exciting than editing my résumé.