“A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” ~ Thomas Mann
Well, I did it. Today marks my thirtieth consecutive day writing this blog, just as I promised myself I would do. This entire endeavor started because, although I’ve held paying jobs as a writer and editor in the distant past, without a current, paid writing job I’m not comfortable telling people I’m a writer. I somehow thought that if I made an honest go at it I might legitimize the act itself. If you tell someone you’re a writer, they assume you’re a journalist or novelist and they ask you about what you’re writing. But, if you tell them you publish a blog, they assume you’re not really a writer. So, I’ve just kept quiet about it. And, the truth is that I never thought I could commit to writing every day. Even when I kept a journal I never managed to write in it daily. I’ve always found reasons to deem it impossible. Either there wouldn’t be enough material to write about or I wouldn’t be able to find the time or I’d simply get tired of the act of doing it. But, here I am thirty days later with thirty completed entries, proof of being able to write consistently. Huh. Who knew?
Now none of this is to say that I’ve been thrilled with every entry. I haven’t been. It hasn’t been easy. My perfectionist tendencies vexed me. There were days when a 400 word entry took me 4+ hours, and I still wasn’t satisfied with it . On a couple days, it got down to a few minutes before midnight before I squeaked in a post just under the wire. I’m sure there are typographical and even grammatical errors in some entries because occasionally I could not bring myself to care for another millisecond. I still stuck with it, though, and that is something.
I’ve learned quite a bit about myself and about the process of writing through this thirty day experiment. I’ve learned that I am capable of follow through, even when the going gets tough. I’ve learned that inspiration can come from the most unlikely little tidbits of life. I’ve learned that I don’t have to love everything I write; not every published morsel needs to be one I treasure. I’ve learned that writing is a process and, like life, it’s about the journey and not the destination. I’ve learned that there are actually a couple folks who read my words and appreciate them. Most of all, I’ve learned that there’s no point in denying something that is innate. I’m a writer. My desire to write is a gift. So, I’m going to keep on writing. Not because I’ve challenged myself to but because I’m a writer. It’s what I do.