Why Write: 2016
Way back in January 2016 I made a vow to myself to publish something on my website at least once a week in the coming year. Now it is October and so far I have been successful. I have actually been able to publish two things per week for much of 2016. Some of the writing I published was good. Some of it was bad. All of it was mine.
What makes a person a writer? Is it lucrative contracts and a large fan base? Is it having amazing ideas that no one else has ever thought of before? Both of these can contribute to a successful writing career, but a writer they do not make. A writer is simply a person who writes. A lot. After posting every week for a year, I can safely call myself a writer, and no reasonable person can refute that description.
Regardless of page views, likes, and comments, publishing something every week has consistently made me feel good about myself. Publishing every week has made me feel good about myself in spite of page views, likes and comments.
It hasn’t always been easy. There were many weeks when I struggled to put pen to paper, and then finger to keyboard. Right now I am having one of those struggle weeks. You can tell, because I am writing about writing. Writing is one of the easiest things to write about. That’s why so many people write about writing all the time. What could be easier than describing what you are currently doing.
Sometimes when we struggle it makes us stronger. While it is still difficult sometimes to publish individual pieces, my consistent schedule over the past year has made publishing easier overall.
My biggest hurdle to writing, and then publishing, is the fear that whatever I produce will be of poor quality. I wonder, and I worry, whether whatever I’m working on is good enough.
I have published a lot of stuff on this website. Most of it is ok, I think. Some of it is good. And there are a few pieces that aren’t very good at all. But that’s ok, because the point is not to be perfect. The point is to make an honest effort, and not give in to laziness or despair.
I know I have posted work that is far from great. Because of this, I also know that if I post something stupid or bad it won’t be that big of a deal. The world will not collapse over one bad piece of writing. My psyche will not crumble when faced with it’s own mediocrity.
My plan is to keep publishing, at least once a week, into perpetuity. With this goal in mind, I know whatever I write today will eventually be buried by all the stuff I will write on all the tomorrows. If I write something bad or stupid no one will remember. Not even me! If I write something good, someone might remember, but they probably won’t. and there is always the chance that what I produce is actually better than I think it is.
Even if I write and post something that is really bad, the worst thing any human has ever written, at least that would be sort of an achievement.
A monument made from trash is still a monument. A participation trophy is fine. I think a medal for last place would be even more valuable.