The Journal of Failure – Week 5 – 29 January 2016 – 4 February 2016



  • Goal – 120p / day, or 840 / week
  • Achieved – 0/840 – Failure

Writing – I Remember

  • Goal – 14 / week
  • Achieved – 14/14 – Success!

Writing – Fragments

  • Goal – 5 / week
  • Achieved – 0/5 – Failure

Writing – Large Projects

  • Goal – 3,500 words / week, or 5hrs 15minutes
  • Achieved – 759/3,050 – Failure

Website Posting

  • 5 days of posting (anything)
  • Achieved – 5 days/5 days – Success!



Well, I wrote this week.  And it was good!  I was pleased to have done it, and pleased while I was doing it, so that was nice.  I am shocked that my reading rate was so very low, and don’t have much to say about that beyond – what’s happening?

I have been studying my behaviour, and I find that whatever I immerse myself in, I do.  So, if I am constantly reading, I read a lot – it builds upon itself.  If I write a lot, then I write more and it’s easy to begin, continue, and progress.  All of this is obvious, yes.  But here’s the wrinkle – on the bus, to work, I enjoy listening to podcasts.  Yes, I should read, and sometimes I do, but podcasts are my more regular method of whiling away the time.

If I listen to gaming podcasts, then the effect is that, when I am not working, I am fully immersed in gaming culture, because I also like to listen to such podcasts during household chores, etc.  This makes it very difficult for me to disengage from that culture, and to the slower paced world of reading.  Then, if I don’t read, writing doesn’t happen, either.  It builds upon itself, a week passes, and nothing has happened.

What’s the solution?  Well, it’s obvious. Kill the gaming podcasts.  And yet, I haven’t.  Which means that it remains a battle, one in which I have shown myself to be poorly equipped, ill-prepared, and unable to see a clear path to victory.

I killed a few of the gaming podcasts over the weekend, but I’m still left with around 8 hours of podcasts per week that have nothing to do with literature, and thus don’t help me along in that respect.  I should pull the trigger.  I haven’t.  Will I?

(Oh, and there is only one literary podcast of note of which I am aware – Three Percent, which focuses on literature in translation and bashing Jonathan Franzen.  Both worthy endeavours.  If anyone else is aware of other, good podcasts, please, let me know!)

Each week I aim to provide an update on the Journal of Failure.  These reports are intended to provide an impetus for me to achieve as much as I should/more than I do, and also to provide a further ongoing record of my life, as it is. 


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