Thursday, 4 March 2010

TYSIC: Week One, Year One

4th March, 2010. Here goes.

TYSIC, the Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge, starts today. Mark Watson has laid down the gauntlet to complete a step of any size towards your TYSIC goals by this time next week. Before I do that, I'd better formalise my TYSIC goals:

1. Get a novel published! This is the big one: it's responsible for most of the other goals. I've got a few ideas, some small ones and a couple of big ones, to move along with this.

2. Read a lot. Learn to learn from what I read, and blog about it here. This has the added benefit of getting me writing regularly, in a way that is (hopefully) going to be read. Keeping this blog regular and interesting over ten years is probably the thing that is daunting me the most, at the moment.

3. Write and send a letter every month (stolen from this guy). I shall be doing this on my 1939 "Baby" EMPIRE typewriter.

They're all writing-related. Pretty aptly, today is World Book Day... so clearly The Universe is backing me on this one. Ten years is a silly amount of time to a 22-yr-old, but hardly even a tiny little thing to The Universe. With He/She/It on my side, I surely can't fail!

So back to Mark Watson's challenge: some tangible step towards my goals, however small, by next Thursday. In the spirit of the event, I am going to be ambitious, and take a step towards each:

1. Get my thoughts into a chronological order for the Next Book. I have some loose thoughts, and am roughly setting aside the next six months to bookify them. That means getting it to some sort of second draft status, I think.

2. Post at least once by next Thursday, and cover the alleged point of this blog: the books I'm reading.

3. Send out an email demanding peopls actual, postal addresses. Make a list of intended correspondants, and rank them by likelihood to reply. Most people won't reply, but it will make it more fun if I get a letter abck every now and then.

That's enough lists for now. Although actually... I have one more...

There are lots of other people doing this! The brand new Mark Watson forum is full of them, and there will be a Whole New Thing just for TYSIC on that site soon, I believe. Here's a list of some other TYSIC blogs that I can't wait to follow in earnest. I'll try and get the list permanently alongside this blog, soon:



Running the Central Line

Good Mood!


Big Dawg

I'm hoping the whole community spirit, shared goals and shared madness of a ten year endeavour is going to help me really stick to this.

OK, that's all for now. My next post will be my first booklog post, i think. I'm halfway through The Unfolding of Language right now, and about to get stuck into Evelyn Waugh's Put Out More Flags.

::randomfact:: I served Rik Wakeman in my shop today, twice.


  1. Awesome news on your book. I will of course be demanding to read it.

    The Rik Wakeman?! or his double? or his doubles double?

  2. actually him. he bought some bargain DVDs about freemasons (2 copies) then came back in again for a buy-one-get-one-free notebook and address book.

  3. I'm excited that you've started with Waugh. His work is lovely.

  4. yup, i love Waugh! had this one sitting on my bookshelf unread for too long now.

  5. Cheers for the shout out Ben... I must confess t'was a suggestion from my girlfriend to do the letter writing. Good news on the book progress. I'm still struggling to get passed the dirty feeling I get when I say the words I'm "working on my novel"!

    Think you may be a follower, if not

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.