Related link: http://wgz.org/chromatic/writeyourlife/
I’ve long wanted to give something back to the world that would have lasting effects. Writing free software helps, but there are plenty of other ways to make the world better.
Last year I decided to write a series of writing exercises, one per day, to help people who wanted to write but didn’t know where to start and to help people tell their life stories. I wrote along with the assignments and found it very valuable to write something new every day for a month.
National Novel Writing Month is a few weeks away. 1,700 words per day (on average) may not seem like a lot, but it’s a huge amount when you’re staring at a blank screen.
The exercises in my Write Your Life project aren’t necessarily the best or most convenient for everyone, but deciding to write something every day for a month, even just half an hour, even a few hundred words, is a great experience for writing something longer.
The important part of writing is always writing even a little bit. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can edit later. Just write.
(I’ve revised the Atom feed on my Write Your Life page to produce one new entry every day for the rest of October. The main page won’t change from showing all of the assignments in reverse chronological order, but if you subscribe to the feed you’ll get one a day in the order of posting.)
This took five minutes with Perl, shell, and cron. Long live the Unix toolkit!