There are days I question why on earth I am still blogging, five days a week, with an unprecedented and uncharectiristic zeal. Some days I struggle to come up with a topic, any topic, that will fill my quota, little notebook notwithstanding, the ones where ideas are scribbled when they strike. I always blabber about how life is too interesting to run out of things to write about but, as curious as I am, my life can be dull or, worse, my ideas sometimes feel too derivative.
It all started as an exercise in proving to myself that I could write around 500 words a day and, surprisingly, it turned out much easier than expected. Christopher Hitchens says that if you can talk you can write – that might be the case but most of us don’t have his eloquence or his command of the English language, spoken or written.
Still, as soon as I sit in front of my trusted Mac, even on days when my head is empty and I have just a flicker of a thought, the fingers start tapping with surprising ease, giving life to whatever muck has lodged in my brain. It goes to prove that discipline does count for something.
The second part of the exercise was overcoming the fear of having my muck read by others, be they my well meaning friends or strangers who happened upon my words looking for something specific or while killing otherwise invaluable time. Those who linger, click on the “like” button or take the time to leave a comment, are my personal encouraging elves who prod me along, oftentimes on days when my mind goes blank, or I feel too tired or too busy to cram 500 extra words into my day.
Learning to take criticism has also been a lot easier than I thought, partly because I am my harshest critic – half a life devoted to reading other people’s words makes me painfully aware of what is passable, forgettable or downright terrible. On occasion, I surprise myself by re-reading bits and pieces that could even be, dare I say it, good.
The hardest part was learning to stay true to myself. Every time I am skirting a subject or a comment or a thought for fear of offending somebody, known or unknown, I rein myself in, thinking I have to own what I put out there, at least within the parameters I set for this blog. I will not discuss people who do not wish to be discussed nor would I let every aspect of my private life fly out in the ether, as if anybody cared anyway.
When I look at the search terms random people typed an got to my blog, I am left to wonder if they found anything I wrote remotely useful or if they quickly moved on. But I don’t wonder for long. These two years have been sometimes fun, sometimes therapeutic, sometimes satisfying. Above all, they have been filled with writing. My writing.