Creating clunkers

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I read my friend Chris‘ blog every day. I enjoy this daily view into what he’s thinking about but every once in a while I’m moved to email him. His post has somehow touched me in some way. Usually I write to tell him something good about what he’s written but every once in a while I’ll tell him why I disagree or what I think he missed on some topic.

Recently he emailed me back with an electronic shrug. He had had a feeling that he’d missed with that post. He blogs every day and, he reminded me, “sometimes they’re clunkers.”

I love that he had the inner strength to post it anyway. If it were to appear in a book he would have worked on it until it didn’t clunk any more. I know that about him. But in this “you get what you pay for” world of online free content his post was good enough. In fact, when it comes to Chris you usually get much more than you pay for.

This was very freeing.

I hadn’t blogged in a while. I’d gotten, as all writers do, to the point where I worried I had no more to say and so I stopped writing. When you do that, you’ll find you have no more to say.

Chris freed me to write clunkers. I started writing every day and found that each day I have more to say. I’m not using up a fixed pile of ideas. I’m tapping into a magic mound that replenishes itself every time I take an idea off the top.

Some of the ideas in my growing stash are good ones and some aren’t—but more important than the ideas themself are what I do with them.

We’re a week and a half into this month of writing. How are you doing? Pace yourself. We’ll be writing for a long time. The finish line isn’t the end of this month. That’s just the illusion we maintain to get ourselves back into this daily practice.

We’ll meet here every day and write together. We’ll create plenty of clunkers. We’ll smile at them, shrug them off, and write some more.

It’s like jogging or walking. Meet someone to run or walk several times a week. Some days the exercise is a drag but you show up and do it. A few weeks later you find yourself enjoying it more—not every time— but more. A few weeks after that and you notice other effects that this run is having on you.

We’ll show up every day and write a little bit. Some days it will go well. After a month you’ll have some portion of a book written.