The Stupid 365 Project, Day 1

October 1st, 2010

In the great tradition of historically stupid decisions (“I’ve got it — let’s invade Iraq!”) I have just this moment decided to blog right here here for 365 consecutive days.

That means every single day for the next year.  The more thoughtful among you might ask whether a commitment like this one will interfere with my life.  Actually, I’m thinking of it as an alternative to my life, parts of which are not, as the New Agers might say, Ideal Scenes.  In circumstances like this, what’s called for is a futile gesture.  This is the one I’ve decided to make.

Obviously, I’m going to run out of material long before I run out of days.  That’s part of the charm, actually.  There will be days when I have to write about things I don’t want to write about, just because I’ve used up everything I do want to write about.   And, to make this a little more suicidal, I’m pledging that no blog will be shorter than 300 words.  So in the next year, I’ll bloga minimum of 109,500 words. A good-size novel.  Just for you, and you won’t even read it every day.

Of course, committing to entries of a minimum length is miles from committing to entries of a minimum quality.  I expect to scrape bottom quite soon and then to scrape through the bottom entirely and get into the interesting stuff that’s actually under the stuff that’s under the stuff that’s under the bottom.

Up until now, blogging here relatively rarely, I’ve managed to stay in charge of what I wrote.  At the rate of a blog a day, though, I expect, in a relatively short period, to be scooping stickum from my subconscious because my conscious mind, while it can accurately be described as encompassing a wide range of issues, doesn’t really have expertise in any of them.   It can be said of my mind what someone said of Victor Hugo’s — that it’s as broad as all the seas and a foot deep.  That should, fairly quickly, bring me up against the central problem:  Three hundred words a day, about what?  The only thing I can talk about endlessly is myself, so I also commit that this won’t always be about me.  A lot of the time, probably, but not always.

One other thing this project has in common with the Iraq War is that the only exit strategy is failure.  I’ll either make it or I won’t.  In that regard, the relatively low readership of this blog is comforting.  Relatively few people will actually see me fail.

Here goes.  Look the other way, please.

15 Responses to “The Stupid 365 Project, Day 1”

  1. Lisa Kenney Says:

    Woohoo! This ought to be good. I’m all in. And despite your predictions of scraping through the bottom of the bottom of the bottom, I suspect this project is going to yield some great things. Go on!

  2. Laren Bright Says:

    You’re such an exaggerator. You don’t have to write 365 blogs. You only have to write 364. Well, after this one, that is.

    Besides, you could write about all kinds of vital things — like why the words I had to type to convince your system that I am an actual human being were rextile taileed, both of which sound suspiciously sexual, if you ask me. In fact, I think I got 3 emails just today dealing with that condition.

    Now send me my goddam decoder ring.

  3. angel Says:

    You got another reader. 🙂

  4. Alton Koren Says:

    There is absolutely no way that you cannot make 365 days of blogging anything but witty, informative, creative and fun. The sea is pretty expansive. I’m sure there’s a LOT floating around in that one foot deep that we’ll all enjoy. And who knows, maybe you’ll be surprised by periodic dropoffs. A great experiment for you and those who appreciate you.

  5. Jean Henry Mead Says:

    Best of luck with the new project, Tim. I’m sure you can fill quite a few pages with good writing tips and advice.

  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Well, I’m impressed with all this optimism. It buoys me up, lifts my spirits, and gives me a short but growing list of people to whom I can turn as ghost-writers when the words stop coming. Thanks to LISA for the woohoo and her sunniness about what might actually be at the bottom of the bootom, and to LAREN for pointing out that there are really only 364 to g (what a relief!) and to ANGEL, who I think may try something like this on her own blog, and to ALTON for his faith that there’s a lot floating around in that shallow sea (of course, we all know what floats) and to JEAN, a dauntingly good writer in her own right for dropping in with encouragement.

    And Laren, my Captcha is NUD GARIPEK, which sounds like a Romanian soccer player.

  7. fairyhedgehog Says:

    I’ll look forward to this!

    I’ve just finished A Nail Through The Heart and I’m waiting impatiently for The Fourth Watcher to arrive. Now I’ll have something from you to read every day!

  8. EverettK Says:

    “As broad as all the seas and about a foot deep,” huh?

    Let’s see, there are about 139.5 million square miles of ocean on this planet. One foot is 1/5280th of a mile, so that equates to roughly 26,420 cubic miles of ocean. One cubic mile of ocean weighs about 151 million tons. That’s almost 4 million million tons.

    That’s heavy.

    I’d say you have plenty of subject matter to carry you a paltry 365 days.

    I’ll be right here (behind you), all the way. 🙂

  9. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, FHH, and thanks for stopping by. So glad you liked NAIL — of all of them, that’s the one I’d be least likely to recommend to you because of the subject matter. WATCHER is, at least, lighter.

    Everett is the high fast one over the plate the universe delivers much less frequently than we batters would like. He e-mailed me after THE FOUR LAST THINGS came out on e-book with about 900 typographic fixes (all of which we promptly made) and he’s given similar assistance on SQUEAL and SKIN DEEP. And he’s — my God! — reviewed them on Amazon. AND he designs games and has serious numbers of brain cells, as his computation of the size of my metaphorical mind illustrates.

    Aaaarrggggghhhh — you guys are all smart! And I have to get up tomorrow and write something.

  10. Pat Browning Says:

    Hi, Tim:

    300 words a day? That’s a lot. Good luck! You don’t have to write about writing, you know. In fact, everybody and his dog is writing about writing. Maybe you could just tell us about your life.

    It all depends on why you’re blogging. If you’re blogging to sell your books, then, obviously, you have to talk about your books, and how and why you write them — et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, as the King of Siam (or Yul Brynner)said.

    If you’re blogging just to keep from going to seed you can talk about anything that comes to mind.

    I’d rather you wrote 300 words a day on a new Simeon Grist mystery, but that’s so selfish of me.

    All best,
    Pat Browning
    Author of ABSINTHE OF MALICE,
    and half-finished with METAPHOR FOR MURDER.

  11. Phil Hanson Says:

    Hey, Tim, if you can commit to writing your blog every day, the least I can do is commit to reading it–every day. We all have our challenges. Personally, I don’t recommend beginning a project with the expectation of failure, although it’s a strategy that seems to be working for you. Maybe I’ll just shut up now and watch and learn.

  12. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Pat — I’ve responded to you at some length in the third post, “El Sombrero,” but I don’t deal with your speculation about why I’m blogging. I decided to do this with no real motive at all. I was sitting at the keyboard and I just wrote the first post. If I have a motive, it’s to get myself started writing earlier, since I write these as I drink the morning coffee that makes the day possible, and in fact I’ve gone right on from the blog to the new book (which IS a Simeon — sort of) all three days. I talk about writing not so much to sell books as because it’s pretty much all I think about. But, sure. Part of me hopes that this blog will go viral and attract a million people and that they’ll all migrate directly to Amazon and buy everything I’ve ever written. But do I think that will happen? Well, no.

    Phil — I begin everything in the expectation of failurer because it turns successful moments into pleasant surprises. And, to be honest, I expect either to write some terrible drivel here in the next year or to come to my senses and walk away from the project. But I hope you enjoy whatever the hell comes out.

  13. Larissa Says:

    Good luck. I may try something like this on my blog if only to get myself writing more and writing just for the sake of writing something. I usually babble about myself on the blog..so perhaps my challenge would be to write an entry on something other than me…narcissus would be ashamed I know but it could work. It’s hard to be interesting enough to warrent posting everyday…

  14. Beth Terrell Says:

    Tim, I look forward to reading all 364 remaining posts. You know I love everything you write. And I will commit to commenting on all of them–but not, alas, on the day they are written.

    You should have a character called NUD GARIPEK.

    Mine’s 129 nopert.

  15. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    This is perhaps excessive devotion, which is not to say I won’t accept it. NUD GARIPEK could be an inhabitant of one of the worlds behind my mother’s finger.

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