Home > writing talk. > Mad men.

Mad men.

I have long liked to believe that writers—even the most prolific among us, the most lunatic—treat themselves to a day off here and there. To relax and recharge. To relearn what natural light looks like. On the rarest occasions that you emerge from writing den, it should be celebrated. Clip your toenails. Shave, perhaps.

But I dont know. All of that could by chance be my way to explain long spells of literary inactivity, a heinous crime of which I am often culpable. But cmon! There are—you could probably guess it—three hundred and sixty-five days in a year (you’re welcome!), after all. That isnt such a big number in and of itself or by comparison to the infinite line of values that stretches beyond it, of course, but when you get right down to it . . . a year is a long time. Hell, a week is a long time. Time has a way of slowing down, as though Dalí, coiling his moustache devilishly, is pushing the minute hand backwards when you arent looking.

In spite of this, the concept of write365 has recently cropped up. The challenge is to do what it pretty much says: write every day for a year. Wordcount, theme, style, form—these things you can dismiss. It doesnt matter. The only hard-and-fast rule is that you must must must produce new material every single day for a year.

Madness is what it is.

But that might be what it takes to do. In fact, it is the prerequisite, I have declared. Let it be known.

Two writing buddies of mine arent deterred, though. In honor of their decision to—really, can we be honest here?—slowly grow into a spiraling descent of madness, alcoholic hazes of self-derision, and the purchase of firearms licenses, I wanted to introduce them to you folks.

Pete Speer has already written a short introduction over at his site, One Year in Words. What it doesnt tell you is that for a long time he has been driven to broaden his experience as a person. He strives for self-improvement or self-exploration (not the naughty kind) on a constant basis. He diets. He learned how to brew beer (and from what I had seen and read, they’re likely delicious). He taught himself to cook—and by cook, I mean chef-quality meals. Now he’s embarking on this. A good guy I’m proud to know.

The other fella is Dan Sackett of Just Words. You can tell from his writing-log (as well as his graphic-design homepage) that Dan here is a minimalist at heart. Hemingwayesque. In so many words, he is a top-notch writer who—as if write365 isnt difficult enough—has decided to do this during the schoolyear at Penn State.

I wish them luck.

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