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June 16, 2011 at 03:34 PM

500 Words per Day

kriskoeller.com, Writing

The sunset over San Francisco on December 31, 2007

My New Year's resolution on January 1, 2008 was to post one blog entry per day for every day of 2008. I think I made it pretty faithfully until about August of that year before the grind became too much. We were traveling a great deal, and long ran out of interesting things to say. Aside from those limitations, it was an interesting challenge and one I've been thinking about recently.

One of my side projects for the past year or so has to been to assemble all these travel blog posts and photos into some kind of book, but I was struggling with two things: 1. a compelling narrative and 2. a point. I haven't given up on the idea and continue to organize my thoughts, but just needed a little more motivation.

To that end, I've resolved to write 500 words per day in pursuit of that goal. That doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, but over time that can lead to voluminous text to be later organized by some skilled and highly-paid editor. Not all of those posts will end on here, but many of them will, and many of the will be incoherent and without context, but someday may all make good sense.

I've added a wordcount feature to kriskoeller.com to track my progress. If you go to the blog index page, you can hover over a blog entry title and see its views, its mobile views, the number of comments and its wordcount. I'll start using that feature today be evaluating this post.

See you around the Internet!

Update: that was only 275 words so I guess this is harder than it looks. Anyway, I read this recommendation from Getting Things Done guru Merlin Mann who talks often of this book titled, Writing your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day. The gist of the book is the hardest part of doing anything is getting started. If you've ever embarked on a fitness regimen of any kind, you know this to be true. 90% of the effort is lacing up your shoes and showing up to the gym, the rest of it goes pretty easily (insert yoga in here as a comparable example).

I'm not a terrible procrastinator, although I used to be (these days I never seem to get around to it...pause for laughter). So to motivate my efforts, I've sorted all my travel-related blog posts by popularity (number of views, number of comments) and have started to edit at least 5 per day. This includes removing my excessive use of adverbs (profusely), and many non-words like "actually", "really", "very" and "it should be noted." (The king of passive voice am I). I've also targeted sentences that end in a preposition, and uses of the word "alot." The goal is to just make them more readable, and to update the content accordingly as I go along.

I've been reading a number of really good travel blogs lately and I'm impressed by the writing and the photography, so that has motivated me to contribute these posts as well (more to come on that later). Until then, I encourage you to visit the archives and spread the love by hitting that little Tweet button or Like button (when you see one). Cheers, best regards and namaste.



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