I haven't written anything personal for quite some time. I've probably got a list of excuses a mile long, but you probably don't care about why I haven't been writing, you want to read what I have to say. And what I have to say is this: I feel compelled to start writing regularly again. In fact, I want to make this a daily habit, which is something I haven't done for a long time.
The need to write has been bottled up inside me and has finally escaped as the weather gets cooler where I live and the days are getting shorter. The desire to write has been there. My butt has been in the seat in front of a screen. But distractions, fear, and discouragement always win the day. I get distracted by the TV and apps and games. I'm afraid that nobody is reading, am I typing into a void? Is anybody out there? And I get discouraged because I feel like I have nothing new or interesting to write about.
While some of my fears and discouragements might be grounded in truth, mostly they're stories made up by my anxious brain, darn thing is always trying to take the easy way out and avoid pain whenever possible.
But from today until some day in the future, I want to write and publish a blog post every day. Some might be drafts I've been sitting on for months or years. Some might be stream of consciousness that were written and published before bed. Others may be longer posts that I've split up into shorter sections.
This idea hit me in three parts. First, a few days ago I came home from work, exhausted and ready for a relaxing evening. As I sat down in front of the TV, a little voice in my mind nudged me and said, “Hey, you haven't written anything for a while.” Pretty simple stuff, but as I let that thought sink in and marinate for a bit, I realized that writing is a big part of my life and identity that I have been ignoring for a while. Second, I rediscovered a journal in which I wrote a crappy poem every day for about six months straight. Most of the poems are really bad, but some of them are half decent and a few are actually really good. It was a few days later that I realized I've been putting off blogging because I feel like nobody is reading anyway and many of my ideas are bad. And then, as I was listening to a podcast, I heard this quote from Neil Gaiman:
[P]ublishing a collection of short fiction these days is akin to dropping rose petals into the Grand Canyon and waiting to hear the boom.
I feel the same way about blogging. I think most of the time publishing a blog post is even worse. It's like adding a single drop of water to the ocean and expecting a hurricane.
This quote (and the preceding pondering) helped me realize that my blog isn't a business, it'll probably never have millions of readers or be worth millions of dollars, it's not meant to go viral, I don't plan on turning it into a New York Time's best seller. But it is fun. It's relaxing. It's therapeutic. It's enlightening. It's helped me learn about myself and the world and grow as an individual. And I like to believe that at least one thing I've written has resonated with at least one other person somewhere. And that makes it worth it, in my opinion.
So for the foreseeable future, I'm issuing myself a challenge: Write and publish a blog post every day. This will be an ongoing challenge with no definite end. I want to see how many days I can go and how many blog posts I can publish. Yes, some of them will not be my best work. But some of them will (hopefully) be pretty great. This scares me and I know it's going to be hard. But I've felt in a rut of easiness and I think this is just the thing to get me back on the path.
If you'd like to join me with whatever art form (drawing, writing, music, photography, dance, etc. etc.), you can email a link to wherever you post to nathan “at” quiethabits.net and I'll try to add links to your awesome stuff at the bottom of each post. Let's not be afraid to create and share. Let's go out and make awesome things, share them, and support each other.