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In the Fall of 2014 I I came close to driving myself insane with a personal project: for the entire month of October, I posted a photograph that I took that day along with some writing about the image or something inspired by the image. I had to post them on my blog (Silence Says It All) before midnight every day for 31 days.
After 31 days, I swore I’d never do anything like that again.
It didn’t seem like such a bad idea at first…one picture and some writing. I’m a writer and a photographer. What could go wrong?
Other than a few technical glitches that were easily remedied, it wasn’t so much a matter of what could go wrong as it was a matter of when the hell is this going to end?
Here’s the thing; I work a full time job five days a week, I teach writing workshops one evening a week and I almost always have some time-consuming project going on (like an exhibition opening with one more artists’ collectives). What really hit was the full time job. It limited me to evenings and weekends to get the images and sometimes those images were almost impossible to get. That month, I traveled more than in years. I drove to wilderness places outside town and down country roads to rivers and lakes and parks and walkways around the city and begged friends to pose so that I could write something about them.
Getting those images every day for 31 days turned out to be a lot trickier than I thought. There was the travel, taking the picture (up to an hour if I had to walk a lot), processing the picture in Lightroom, writing something (usually a few paragraphs) and putting it all into the blog and clicking Publish…sometimes, seconds before midnight. Weekends weren’t so bad; weekdays could be a bitch, especially if I was tired or if it was raining or…
Anyways, I was jubilant as hell when the month was over. I’d captured some of my best images ever and though the writing (not even proof read some days) wasn’t the best, some of it was actually worth the bandwidth it’s stored on.
I thought I’d feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment but all I felt was glad it was over and I would never do anything like it again.
And along came 2019.
I had a novel that took over ten years to write. It had been rejected with extreme prejudice and death threats by over 200 agents. Admitted, I took a few years off from the novel to study photography and I was working on a few other projects at the same time. And I’m guessing most of the agents stopped reading when they saw the word “noticed” repeated twice on the first page…a typo I didn’t notice but the kind of thing an agent sees and thinks, And that’s about as far as I read this. Always get someone else to read your first 30 pages. Always.
I’d just finished writing another one (revising that one now) and I was about a third into still another one when I thought Holy mackerel, I should do something with that novel I wrote a few years ago…the one that hordes of agents hated.
OK…so it might not have happened exactly that way. In fact, I have no idea how it happened, but I was suddenly outside myself, watching myself dividing the novel into parts that could be read in five to ten minutes. Enough to read during a coffee break. I was screaming at myself, “What the hell are you doing!”
I couldn’t believe it. I was doing it all over again. Only this time, it wasn’t a 31 day project…it was 72 days and it was called The Weekly Man: The World’s First Free Daily Serialized Coffee Break Novel.
To be continued…
BTW, the image at the top of the blog is just there to get your attention; plus, I like it.