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word count v/s date : courtesy of the infamous sheet, and google

When I had begun here originally, I had imagined this to be a place where I would talk mostly about writing, and then, as an add-on, a little bit of other stuff. I mean all you have to do is hover the mouse pointer over the blog menu, and you see “on writing” and “everything else” as the prominent sub-items displayed there. That also reminds me that I need to revisit the menus, given the times I’m living in, the idea of putting videos out there does not make much sense now. I’m a writer for god’s sake! Or maybe I will do that once I’ve reached the 100 post mark. But getting back to the point of this paragraph, I was supposed to be writing mostly about writing, and it made sense, as the past had shown me, that that’s where I got most of my likes and follows from.

So, when I clicked on the “On writing” sub-item, this Wednesday, after posting my latest article, I realized that my last post on writing was on December sixth, after I had reached fifty posts here. That’s almost a couple of months gone without writing about the thing that I am supposed to be writing about.

Wow!

And, surprisingly enough, it does not bother me as much as it should. I mean it bothers me enough to warrant a post, but it does not warrant a rethinking of how I am doing things here. See, for after a long while, I am happy with where I am in life, with all the three parts of it, the writing, the health, and the work, existing in a sort of dynamic equilibrium. Of course, things could be better, that’s after all the point of perfection, having something to strive for… but, I am happy. Actually, as I re-read that, there’s a fourth part to my life, but it is so above, and around everything else, that I did not bother mentioning it. I would like for it to be better too.

Now then. I’ve been writing, and writing consistently too. The more public figure that I have set for myself is that of publishing two posts here, per week. That is something, that I have been pretty successful in achieving since I decided I would do it. The less public of the two, is the resolve to write something every day. Ideally, I would like the number to be at five hundred, but right now, when I’m still trying to gain something resembling consistency, any number would do. I have been consistent for the past fifteen days, averaging somewhere around three hundred words. That’s a full two hundred words shorter than the goal.

Gaaah!

Too many numbers!

I surrender!

I use Google Docs to get most of my writing done. During one of the earlier days in my recent past, I thought it would be fun to have a count of words I wrote each day. This was after I had read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and I was trying to hit a thousand odd words each day. I tried a few variations of it. An Excel sheet journalling the stuff I wrote each day, which was mostly a qualitative way of looking at things. Then, I happened across this LifeHacker post about Jamie Todd Rubin, one thing led to the other, and I ended up implementing his methodology to my already established process, ending up with the numbers.

Also, on that, go see Mr. Rubin.

I am not sure what the constant stream of numbers at the end of each day, will lead to in the longer run. I had set the tracking back in November, so these are still early days. I am not sure if it is supposed to do any good. The numbers can be daunting to look at. They can be depressing, pushing you down more than pulling you up. It is like all technology. It is easier for us to forget that the technology is for us, for our assistance. It is not supposed to make our lives harder.

It seems to be malevolent, at least in this case, till date. Maybe that’s so because I’m just happy to sit down, and write. The technology is just a faint reminder of the fact. A feedback of sorts. An appreciation maybe.

I don’t look at it. The little Excel sheet that has all the data. I don’t. What I do look at, however is that one mail the code sends out at the end of each day, mentioning the number of words I wrote the previous day. It also mentions some other nifty pieces of info. And it gives me a certain satisfaction, getting up in the morning, looking at the number of words I wrote yesterday. It feels great if I manage to cross the five hundred work mark. It feels good if I don’t. After all, if there is one thing I have learned all this while, through life, it’s this:

Writing matters. Writing, over and above any damn thing. Writing.