4 weeks ago for day 234, with 409 words.

A New Year (in my life)

My 42nd birthday is on Saturday, and even though that's not a big round number, and nothing huge is happening in my life on the scale of the move last year, it still feels like I'm embarking on something new. I think it's the fact that my birthday comes at the very end of summer and I've chosen to make my life in education, which means my work year always begins immediately after it. So it always feels more like a new year than the actual New Year does to me. The stagnation of hot summer days with few responsibilities gives way to a full calendar and cooling breezes and cleansing rains.

I've been thinking a lot about my work here and how it might be possible to turn it to the production of more interesting work. I had a significant insight yesterday: over the course of these 100 days of writing, I've gradually, and not consciously, gone from writing aimlessly in a text file to writing "to spec", that is, with the explicit aim of accumulating the minimum 300 words and little more. This keeps the habit alive -- which has a value in itself, particularly during those stretches of days and weeks when my interest is low -- but it also forecloses the possibility of wandering into entirely unexpected topics.

I'm not going to be able to devote sustained time to writing, by which I mean one to two hours a day every weekday, until Monday at the earliest. So the next few posts here are going to be light journal entries like this. But starting Monday I'm going to go back to that earlier habit, and begin with more extensive writing elsewhere without watching the counter.

I've also decided to make this journal public again. In the beginning I wanted to keep it more or less to myself and just a few friends because I wasn't initially sure how the experiment would go. But now I have the confidence to share what I'm doing here with a wider circle of acquaintances, and I'm okay with the idea of allowing it to appear on search engines. I'm even considering hosting the entries on my own website -- maybe the more interesting ones. Or perhaps in an edited form, where I collect all the threads of a particular topic -- for example, those several paragraphs I wrote about Chopin -- and compose little essays out of them.

User Photo

By JEREMY HATCH

Full time musician and former pro writer wanting to get back into the practice.

Get JEREMY HATCH's newsletter

Almost there! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm.

Subscribe to JEREMY HATCH's latest writing to get it right in your inbox.