Stupidly Ambitious Reading Plans!

(I think I’ll just get some instant regret for Christmas this year)

I like reading. It can be difficult, mind-numbing, impossible to do whenever my blood sugar is outside of a range narrower than the ‘just right’ scale on any given shower, and I’ve done far too little of it in my life, but I enjoy it nonetheless. And now that I feel a bit more like an adult, and I have way more free time than I used to, I have both the confidence and the hours to start stupidly ambitious projects like the one I’m about to detail to you.

The plan is this: in 2015, I will read a fiction novel separate to my course, and write a short story of 5-10,000 words every month (with the possible exception of November, when I plan to give NaNoWriMo another shot so a different short story might have to be squeezed).

I’m telling you this because that way I’ll do it; I started this blog and declared that I’d write every day, now 370-odd posts later, I still keep to that schedule, because I don’t care enough about myself to worry about failing a goal I set privately, but there’s always the fear I’ll get called out more public failures like this, which is rather effective for motivation (and yes, I was referring to my fifteen viewer-a-day blog as ‘public’ for the purposes of that paragraph).

This will also help provide material for my third, writing-based blog that I intend to set up once I’ve actually written some things (that will be a thing, I just have to finish an old story and it’ll be ready to go), and knowing that these individual stories will feed into a larger collection of stories (again, one that is nothing more than a tiny blog in a corner of the Internet) will be further motivation to write them, rather than have them be individual, endless and never-published collections of ideas and chapters consisting of nothing but an inner monologue in italicised font.

But above all, I want to write things. Yes, things. Basically, any thing, and this is a neat way to start. I’m done with waiting to be a writer; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but always strayed away from actively pursuing, because I need to finish school sixth form university first; it’s a label based more on what one does than the qualifications and offices one has, unlike say a teacher or a banker, where there is a linear progression from education to training to regular pay cheque. A writer writes, that’s the only criteria needed to accurately describe yourself as one. Although people reading my things and commenting on them is much appreciated and something that gives me genuine fulfilment and a feeling I’m doing something with my life, I don’t think you need to have your shit read to write shit; nor do you need to win competitions, or be featured between the black, orange-fonted covers of a Penguin Classics novel or whatever. I’m James, and I’m going to be a writer. A pretentious, ignored and probably completely inconsequential writer, but whatever, I’ll be a writer nonetheless.

And it all starts with a new blog! Apparently!

Bet Laurence Sterne never had to worry about this shit.


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