So last year I was in Spain. It was June and the GF and I were on holiday in Mallorca, enjoying the balmy weather and Old World charm of Mallorca’s capital, La Palma. We had spent five days in Barcelona before jetting off to Mallorca on a whim, holing up in a quiet little resort on the northeast corner of the island for a few days. The idyllic resort and its surroundings were almost entirely occupied by German and Brits and when we tucked into an Indian restaurant on our first night, the water remarked that in his six years on the Island, we were perhaps the fifth American couple he had seen. He clearly viewed this as a good thing.
We then drove back to the main city and checked into a nice hotel along the main drag, complete with pool and a manageable stroll to the fish spa (which we avoided, only to later break down and patronize one in Barcelona).
La Palma is fantastic. Great late night buzz, stellar selection of restaurants and a very clean, open vibe. And the scented soaps I picked up at the outdoor market proved remarkably long-lasting. Out of the four bars that I purchased, I’m halfway done with the first one. Those Spaniards–they can make the shit out of a bar of fragrant soap.
As we were preparing to run out to dinner one evening, I checked my email as GF affixed her earrings. There was a note from my agent, advising me that none other than Mr. Chuck Palahniuk himself had sent out a call for authors–he was launching a new literary site and sought a team of writers to supply original content and to drive traffic to the site, which would offer essays, workshops and myriad other writing resources.
My agent thought they might need a music guy and if so, I should apply. With precious little thought, I proceeded to compose one of those shoot-from-the-hip emails that either come across as playful or arrogant. If I’m being honest, I think I wanted to convey equal doses of both, but I knew that the odds of me making it through the presumably massive pool of candidates would be slim, so more than anything, it was a way to write in character–to talk the kind of shit that I often think but rarely speak. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
It turns out that somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 authors submitted their credentials and writing samples and from this pool, approximately ten were selected, among them, yours truly.
Truthfully I had written it off and actually forgotten I had applied until I received an email from the site’s editor, explaining that while the site would not be covering music per se, my experience covering music biographies and pop culture would be a welcome addition to the team and with that I received my first assignment.
LitReactor launched October 1, and so far it has been an unqualified success. The other writers on the site are engaging, talented and armed with a unique set of views and styles that distinguish them from the masses of the blogosphere. I’ve contributed two articles so far–one that was assigned to me and one that I pitched, and both were enormously rewarding exercises. Half the fun is meeting the other writers and some of the readers on the site, who bring niche qualifications like graphic novel writing, crime writing, etc. It’s an exciting community and I owe my agent yet another great debt for turning me on to it.
Which brings me to the title of this blog. As the year ended, the editors reached out to the authors and offered to publish any New Year’s writing resolutions that we might have. Right away I thought about this site here, which I have grossly neglected in 2011.
It has been said that every writer should maintain a steady diet of reading and writing each and every day. Too often my writing takes the form of emails, pitches, and editing. I probably do 7000 words a week, combined from a number of sources (album reviews, my weekly feature at TNB, concert reviews, etc.), but I don’t necessarily write original pieces on a regular basis.
My resolution therefore was to simply write two blogs per week for the entirety of 2012. My editor at The Nervous Breakdown, Brad Listi, once did a blog a day for 365 days, so this little goal of mine is sort of like making a New Year’s resolution to drink water a couple times a week–it is achievable to the point of embarrassment. Still, here I am on blog three, and I sat in front of the screen for fifteen minutes, trying to think of something to write.
Recalling my resolution and cursing myself for the unrestrained hubris of publicizing my intentions, I was confounded to discover that indeed, this is harder than I thought.