Discover Something New Everyday: The Challenge




This is a story I've told many times before:

Writer James Still, the author of classics like River of Earth and The Wolfpen Poems, was in his early 90s when I, a boy in my mid-twenties who didn't know anything about anything, asked him a naive and earnest question:  "How can I become a better writer?"  Mr. Still thought about it for a long time, then looked just past me with his haunting eyes.  "Discover something new everyday," he said.  

I've made a conscious effort to try and do that ever since, and it's an exercise that has changed my life.  

So, with that in mind, I'm going to try my best to post a new discovering here everyday for the next month.  If I'm able to do it, I might try for another month, and another.  I'm not always near a computer so if that's the case then I might miss a day or two.  I'm not going to devote myself to it so much that it kills my own writing day, and I'm not going to let it take over my life a la Julie and Julia.  But I am going to try my best to post a new discovery every day, and I hope that you will join me in doing the same.  Even if you can't post a comment to my blog saying what you've discovered then you can do it for yourself.  In a notebook, a journal, a wipe-off board, in your head.  

The main thing is to discover, so that's what we're setting out to do. 

 

Comments

Julie said…
I love this idea and look forward to reading your discoveries! It's an inspiring idea, and one that I will attempt to carry out as well.
Dory Adams said…
This is a wonderful daily goal! I'm inspired to start my own list of daily discoveries.
Keith Wilson said…
Silas, I love this idea so much. I'm already inspired myself. I do something like this by writing every day, but I don't know that I ever make so conscious an effort to learn something new (that isn't vocabulary related).

By the way, I studied both you and James Still in an Appalachian Literature class taught by the late Danny Miller which basically changed my writing life. I didn't know that you had known him.

Funny how things connect together.
sarapennington said…
Just the kick in the pants I needed...in a good way. I've been struggling to find a way to write again, and to blog again, in this new role as organizer--as one who's committed to holding back my public voice in order to help others be heard. I think a challenge like this is a perfect point of re-entry for me--into discovery, and into poetry. Thanks!

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