by Nic Olson

I have written more in the past two weeks than I have in the past 4 months. And I’ve liked it. Poems, blogs, chapters, essays. It has finally felt organic, and when it hasn’t, I have written anyway, because that is what you are supposed to do, I think.

There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.


I blast my brain with starvation, the single beer, other writings, and sports events. After writing half of a book and ending up hating most of it, I started to wonder why. I wanted a reason of why I consistently wrote dribble, but kept writing anyways. I edited heavily the first ten chapters, to a point where I basically rewrote them all, pressing the forever healing ‘delete’ button with my right pinky several times. Still working on it. Still deleting things. After this I decided that I needed to read more. A very wise editor once told me that in order to become a semi decent writer, I needed to read a lot. So somewhere in this head of mine I decided that I wanted to spend twice as much time reading as I did on writing. Recently, even when reading a decent amount, I have found that if that were the case, I would only write for about twenty minutes in a day, or I would be reading four 6 hours a day. Neither seemed logical.

I am still working on the ratio, trying to perfect it by reading books that would influence my writing positively, or famous writers with similar styles and ideas. Then at the end of it all I try to figure out who I think I am kidding. And through my own self-discouragement I write some more. Dribble.

I am at 34,543 words. A perfect palindrome of undoubtedly sketchy writing. I googled how long the average book was. Most obviously legitimate websites said that, for example Harry Potter books had 200 000 words, good books had at least 60 000, and a few of my shorter favourites had 80 000. I am halfway to a good book, and I’ve taken it just about as far as I can. I remember having to write 1000 word essays in History 30 and thinking that was a lot…

6 months is my goal, and the real, three year old, untitled project number one might be done. Here’s to hoping.