Ok, so that’s a poor start.  Two posts, then I miss two days.  I’ll try and make up for it by having something a bit meatier.

When I told my wife I was planning on doing this, writing a post a day, the first thing she wanted to know was “what are you going to write about?”

And it’s a fair enough question. I’m afraid my answer wasn’t all that satisfying.  “Oh, just anything that comes to mind, really.  Doesn’t have to be too deep, or on any particular topic.  It doesn’t even have to be that long.  I just want to get something down every day.”

“So, you’re just going to dump more crap on the web for no good reason?”


The thing is, that’s not quite true.

Yes, I’m just dumping more random crap on the web.  But I am doing it for a reason.

Fame?  Money? Nope.

Practice. Discipline.


You see, I used to write. A lot. Mostly short stories. An occasional poem. I even wrote a novella once (it was really bad, and as far as I know, all extant copies are long gone.)  Some of the short stories were pretty good.  And I really enjoyed writing them, and sharing them.

For many, many years, I had aspirations to become a writer.  I could think of no higher calling that becoming a novelist.  Weaving words into tales that could take people from where they were to some other place.  Maybe someplace better, or some place darker, it didn’t mattter.  The whole point of a good novel, to me, was the escape.

Sure, a “great” novel will do that, and tell us something deeper about humanity, or maybe teach a good lesson about the universe in which we live.  But I really could care less about that.

I don’t mean to say I’m against “great” novels – I’ve enjoyed quite a few of them over the years. I just mean that I never really had any aspirations of writing one.  What I wanted to write was just a good story.  Something that would suck the reader in, and take them away from the humdrum of the daily grind.  And I wanted to write for the masses – well, at least I wanted to write a book that could be grasped by the masses.

Author’s like Umberto Eco and Margaret Atwood always annoyed me. They write in the code of the literary and intellectual allusion.  Making obscure references that the average person has no hope of grasping.  Oddly, I always thought that was a cheap shot way of writing.  The narrower your audience, the easier they are to please. (Before anyone jumps on me and says the only reason I say that is because “I don’t get the allusions” – I can assure you I do.  I received a multi-lingual “classical” education through grade school, and studied history in University.  Neither of the authors are pulling one over on me.)

I dislike the pretense of that style of literature because, well, it’s pretentious.  It smacks of elitism. At heart, I’m anti elitist.

Also, as I alluded to above, I think it’s a cheap and easy shortcut to writing.  You’re just writing to a narrow audience of which you happen to be a part of.

I also thought that authors like Stephen King and Clive Cussler, Robert Jordan, Lynn Abbey, Piers Anthony, Ken Follet, and John Le Carre had chosen the more difficult route.  To write a good story, that engaged the reader, and could be approached and read by just about anyone.  From any class.  The only requisite was literacy.

These authors tend to get flack from a lot of critics for writing “down” – pulp is by default a lesser art.

I couldn’t disagree more.  Writing something that can be approached by a wide audience is hard.  Don’t believe me?  Then take a stroll through the English department of any major University or Liberal Arts college.  You can’t throw a copy of a Bronte Sister’s novel more than ten feet without beaning an elitist art fart writer who’s admired by his peers an professors.

On the other hand, how many successful pulp writers are out there?  It’s a surprisingly rarefied crowd.  And as in any field, the “greats” are truly few in number.

Which brings me around (in a really roundabout way) to why I’m doing this.


I want to get some practice mucking about with words.  Put something down, essentially un-edited, and then return to it a few days later to critique it myself.


I want to get into the discipline of writing every day.

You see, I think I might just have a novel or two in me.  And I would like to get them out.  But I’m never going to get it done unless I get into the habit of writing.

But why do it “in public” on a blog?  Well, because sooner or later, I’m going to have to ask someone else to go over it, critique it, and tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I’m doing right.  If I just pass around what I’m writing to a close circle of friends, then I’ll run the risk of narrow casting to a small audience of people who probably share a similar set of opinions as me (you know – family and friends.)  Writing is risk.  And I’m going to have to run the risk of some random person I’ve never met coming across this and tearing me a new one.

Something to say?

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