This may not be kosher, but I'm afraid there's been a falling off in the quality of my posts here, and I want to explain.
58 days ago, for no good reason at all, I began what I call THE STUPID 365 PROJECT, which is a commitment to blog every single day for a year, over on my other site. I had no idea when I kicked it off -- on a probably misguided impulse -- how much energy it would require.
It requires a lot.
In addition to the daily 300 words or more, I announced I'd write an original short story for every major holiday. So far I've whipped one up for Halloween and Thanksgiving, with Christmas and New Year's coming right up. This turns out to be the writing equivalent of opening a vein in a nice, warm tub.
I guess I thought I could get up in the morning, look at my shoes as I put them on, and do 300 words on them -- how each scuff and nick has a story attached to it or something equally vapid. But it isn't working that way.
Unexpectedly, it's a lot like writing a novel. I've always thought that one thing that set novels apart from short-form writing is the fact that the sheer length of one exhausts a writer's fund of cheap tricks, easy glibness, and snap judgments. Sooner or later, just to get to the end, you have to put something on the page that's really you. It's the same with the daily blog.
I was scraping bottom 20 days in. Then, as always happens when writing a book, I discovered a new bottom, with some interesting stuff in it. And one under that.
I'm not claiming this is Remembrance of Things Past -- a lot of it is pretty silly (my Thanksgiving story is a shining example). But it's taking a toll on me, and when I add the daily blog output to the work I'm doing on my current book, I don't come here as fresh as I once did.
I'm going to do everything I can to keep both commitments, so I'll keep showing up here, as often as possible with something interesting to say. Anyway, I've only got 307 blogs to go.
If you want to watch me crash and burn, the blog is here.
Oh, and just to say one thing that's not self-referential, Leighton's new book is getting GREAT reviews. Bruce Tierney of BookPage, for example, wrote a rave that includes these words: "Every Bitter Thingworks well on many levels: as a tense police procedural; a political thriller; and a look at the juxtaposing of the haves and have-nots in a society not far removed from its Third World roots."