“[x/365]”?

Many of the posts on here have a little square-bracketed code after the title. For example, My Christmas, New Year, and Oshōgatsu [40/365].

On 28th August 2017 I set out to do “365 Days of Japanese” where I would post an entry a day on this blog, about Japanese, for a whole year’s worth of entries.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep it up as a daily series but I haven’t let that dull my keenness for writing about Japanese. I am still going, and the “[x/365]” format is what I am using in my titles for this series now. It may even turn out not to be limited to 365.

In the process of stopping and starting I learned a few things.

The most important was to play to my strengths: spontaneity and a passion for looking back at previous work to polish it.

I learned that it is very important for me to write an entry enthusiastically when I think of it rather than to shelve it as a draft to be returned to later.

Why?

Because I simply won’t want to do it later. It won’t be fresh, and I’ll want to write about something else.

However, if an entry is already published then I don’t feel that it is arduous to polish it up a little. In fact, I enjoy that very much.

I do have several unfinished drafts, but I think those can be played into spontaneity by reading through them now and again and seeing what grabs my interest. I have no doubt I will get through them all eventually.

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Another thing I learned is not to commit to series that are too ambitious. There have been entries that I have written where I have imagined an “arc” with the best intentions, but at some point lost interest and wanted to write about something else instead. If I feel locked into finishing an arc then not only does that arc not get done, but it “blocks” other entries that I do want to write.

Just like the drafts folder, the arcs can be finished when it feels right.

In a continual process of returning to previous entries, rereading them, adding new links between entries…really the whole blog is an “arc” anyway. I imagine the posts as a network of articles and the method of making those connections with clickable links neatly enabled by the online format.

The final thing I thought about is that there are certain small topics which are especially suited to scheduled posting, such as entries about Japanese “microseasons”, public holidays, and so on, posted on the appropriate days. Scheduling the entries in the first place requires that same enthusiasm and spontaneity as creating any entry, but it is sweet to have the comfort of knowing that on several days there is an article that will automatically be posted.

I feel good about the “[x/365]” series!

1 Comment

  1. I can totally understand where you are coming from with the necessity to write ideas as they come to you, as they are fresh and you have a passion about them.

    After blogging consistently for over 5 years, there is a part of my brain that is constantly thinking of new articles. Sometimes I feel like I even write part of them in my head, so when it comes to sit at the keyboard things go by quickly.

    But I noticed that the more I put it off, the less I care about the topic and there have been a few articles that I have just forgotten about completely. I thought of making a list of article ideas, but probably I wouldn’t have the same level of passion about that topic if I came back a few weeks/months later. I try to at least get the rough draft and the main points down (and the majority of my ‘passion’ for the topic), then add stuff later if I need to.

    The only problem is that if I give into my desire to write every idea that comes to mind, I would be writing probably several articles a day. So I have to selective.

    By the way, I have not ever tried writing one article a day. I think if I had to write the article on that day it would be hard, but if I could write a few on one day (and save them to post later), it wouldn’t be too bad. That way I would skip writing some days.

    Liked by 1 person

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