Writing every day is a trial for me, but I’m continuing. And, so, I want to write a post to thank you all for your encouragement, and support, and kind words, and for your steady reading. Also, thank you for the occasional blog hint. Yesterday’s post would never have been written without a couple of you to coax me toward that particular topic.
I started this blog (again) on February 29. It’s an auspicious date, because, you know, Leap Day. Also it was physically, and maybe psychically, important because of my hospital stay overnight. Since then, with the exception of five days, I’ve posted something every single day. And on the days I haven’t posted anything, I’ve been steadily writing.
It might not seem like it, but writing is not simple for me. Well, it is simple, once I sit down and clear out my distractions. So let me rephrase by saying, developing the habit of writing every single day is not simple. I like to do other things. Most of those things are “time wasters.” I like listening to music. I like browsing Facebook and the occasional Reddit subgroup. I enjoy watching television. But none of these activities produce anything. Apart from my morning constitutional, I really only do two other things–for the lack of a better sense of why I persist–that leave a legacy. And writing is one of them.
Last year around February, a friend pointed me to a website called 750words.com. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of places online to store my writing, but 750 Words has a single goal: it encourages you to write, every single day. It doesn’t care what you write. It just wants you to write 750 words. No frills. It doesn’t even allow you to do simple manipulation like making your text bold or setting italics.
750 words is approximately 3 typed pages. Every day I get a prompt to write my 750 words. And every morning before work, I carve out the hour or so to put my thoughts down. Most of the time it translates into a post, which I stick onto my blog and share on Facebook. Sometimes it doesn’t amount to much. And I’m trying to be okay with that. The important thing is that I keep writing. Because while I am okay with Writing, I am not so good with the Keep Writing.
The other reason for the 750 words, apart from the software itself, is that I read someplace that the humorist Dave Barry’s newspaper column had a 750 word lower limit. A blog is a bit like a newspaper column, only I don’t have to follow a format. I can write whatever I want.
That said, I’ve now written over 400 posts (since 2011). Most of them are in excess of 500 words. So, at a bare minimum, I’ve written 200,000 words. That’s a full length 350-page paperback novel, twice over!
And–you might have noticed–sometimes my blog disappears for a year. Sometimes more. It appears and vanishes in fits and starts. I don’t like fits and starts. I figure if Dave Barry can write 750 words every day, and publish god-knows-how-many books (including several novels), then so could I. Couldn’t I?
So I am.
Writing, that is. Every day. 750 words a day.
I am trying–and making a strenuous effort this time–to keep the momentum. While it’s true that quite often the tone and content of my writing is subject to my moods, I don’t want the routine of writing to bog down. I’ve been there before. And I’m better than that. Aren’t I? Sure hope so.
And to keep me motivated? Well, I’ve just dumped a whole bunch of comments onto my blog. I put them up so I wouldn’t forget that I even have a purpose, and not just a hobby. These the ones that I’ve read in the last 30 days. Maybe they’ll keep me going for the next thirty? I’m blessed beyond words to have each of you as readers.
So, to remind me, here are a few of the things folks have said to me recently.
“Keep on doing what you do, Brian. You are an amazing human person.”
“Brian you are a gem. I SOOOO love your writings- you are intelligent, funny, and most importantly, sincere. Thank you for sharing your musings – they are wonderful. Glad you were put on this earth for us to see ourselves and our “surroundingselves” through your eyes and heart.”
“If you haven’t already been, you certainly should be, published!!!”
“This made my day start brighter. Thanks!”
“I so needed that today. Thanks for being you a never changing. You are as awesome today as you were in high school.”
“you always inspire my day and give me hope! I thank u for always giving me a giggle,a fond memory, a reason to be thankful, and sharing your thoughts and encouraging words.”
“Needed this blog today Brian! After a weekend spent listening to too many people talking I needed to know that it’s okay not to talk!”
“Truly enjoyed reading this blog. Memories of days gone by that were wonderful days. Your post brought a special happiness as I mused upon the years of sharing life with some of the greatest students any instructor could ever have. Blessings to you and Judi.”
“Oh my gosh i just about peed ma pants laughing SO hard on this one!!!”
“Don’t you ever stop writing with your albino gorilla ball knees and your lemon pie, ya hear?”
“We were so lucky to grow up and be raised where we were. Love your stories Brian! I always feel so warm and happy when I read them.”
“You’re a great story teller Brian. Keep them coming!”
“Brian, you already have several super powers: the ability to make people laugh, and the ability to make people think. You sometimes even exhibit both of these simultaneously!”
“I absolutely love reading your stories Brian Carpenter please keep them coming!”
“I think you take an ordinary day, and with your writing make it better. Thank you”
“Brian Jane, you always astound me. I will be heart broken the day you die. Your writing is astounding, humbling, hilarious and inspiring. You are one of the best friends I could ever hope to have and you’ve gotten me through some horrific crap with your words of wisdom and grace. Never ever ever infinity ever stop being you, or ELSE!!!”