yours, tiramisu

don't miss more than a day in a row

I've been thinking about a writing goal for this year (and beyond). As I mentioned in my recent post looking back on 2023, I want to write more. But two popular goals—100 posts a year and a post every day—seem inadequately ambitious and unrealistic, respectively. Today my subconscious served me an alternative idea, which I'm pretty sure I got from some Michael Pollan diet advice but can't find the exact source. I'll put it like this:

Try to write everyday. Don't miss more than one day in a row.

This goal isn't as elegant as the aforementioned ones, but it will push me more than aiming for 100 posts. Even if I do the bare minimum by only writing every other day, I'll still end up with 183 posts at the end of the year, more than the 173 posts I made in 2023. Ideally I hope the momentum will keep me writing more or less everyday, with occasional days off for rest or travel.

I didn't set a minimum word count for myself because most days I sit down to start writing I end up with more than 500 words, which seems to me a reasonable length for a daily wordvomit. Visa made his wordvomits at least 1,000 words each, but I feel myself improving even with shorter ones, so I see no reason to push myself to wring ideas out of a dry brain.

Yesterday I went to an old mining town that's been designated a national historic site. I wasn't so keen on my brother's insistence that we go — just how much could there be to do in a little country town out in the middle of nowhere? I was still hesitating as I walked out the door, but thankfully the day didn't end up half bad. We toured an underground mine and visited a museum dedicated to the history of the town. I don't care much for history, so I found myself zoning out while the white-haired guide gave us a tour of the museum. He had the thickest Southern accent I'd ever heard: as a native English speaker I could only pick up on about 80 to 90% of what he was saying. I find it incredible that there are Americans within fifty miles of me I have trouble understanding.

The admission to that museum was free for us because we'd checked out a pass from our local library, and today we continued our streak by checking out a different pass to visit a nearby nature preserve. I got to see some rehabilitated animals like beavers, owls, eagles, hawks, and vultures rescued from the wild. Seeing animals is always cool, but the part I enjoyed most was interacting with the volunteers. Spending time with people passionate about good causes is so rejuvenating, and I want to do that more. Maybe I'll go volunteer there someday.

Reading the blurbs at the nature center made me feel like a kid again. While I never took much interest in history growing up, I always gravitated towards the natural world. I used to be able to name every bug in my backyard, yet these days I can't even identify poison ivy. I don't know if I've just lost touch with my roots or grown out of a phase, but the way I remember myself mesmerized by a box turtle or barred owl today makes me feel like it's more likely the former. I want to get back in touch with the land around me, to be able to identify my local flora and fauna, to listen to the chorus of birds in the morning and actually know who's singing. There are so many things I want to do, so many versions of myself I want to be, the challenge always lies in choosing which to pursue with my precious time.

I started reading Flowers for Algernon this week because it's one of the books on my writing tutoring curriculum. I've read it before but don't remember anything, and I keep putting it off because it's my ex's favorite book. I should have read it back when we were dating, but no matter—at least it's short. Some Gershwin should help it go down.

#english #journal #life #wordvomit #writing