Back in August, I realized I was coming up on a year of actively posting to Red Room and also coming up on a thousand.
When I became blogging, I had no idea what to write. Do I have anything to say? I wondered, which is perhaps a strange item for writers to wonder. I read others' posts to get a feel for what they said and contemplate what I might write.
How much was I willing to expose of myself? How much was I willing to risk? What the hell was I going to say?
It became a dare, a challenge. I challenged myself to do 1,000 posts. It was just an exercise to force me to think and write. But I wanted to be honest and genuine. That's even more challenging than 1,000 posts. Being honest and genuine while writing required that I find that in myself, and that I be honest and genuine with myself.
So I put it out there, and I learned about myself. Some of my posts are inane, but they helped me write and think about writing, and helped me understand myself. There are cat tales, for I have cats and love cats and animals. I was cautious about saying much about my wife, as she is a private person, and I was wary of saying too much about my employer, who dislikes publicity, and my family.
I had a lot of fun doing it, though. More than anything, I read others' posts and developed a fondness and admiration for their voices. I found strength, inspiration, and story ideas in their comments and lives and a community of writers. That was a great deal of what I sought when I began; I wanted a community of like people, people who enjoy and endure the frustration, satisfaction and challenges of trying to live a writing life. We are different from others and alike in our differences. There is a part of our brains and personality, a bend or twist in the road of existence that makes us look at the world and want to write about it.
We're not unique in our uniqueness. Others seek to be rulers, politicans, conquerors, business people, doctors, nurses, teachers, inventors, athletes, musicians and artists. With all chosen paths, there is knowledge to be acquired, and tricks and secrets to make the magic work. And like life, we will never fully master our profession. But in both, it's a lot of fun trying, interspersed with pain and frustration.
Sometime in the past month, I exceeded my limit of 1,000 posts. Now I can 'rest'. But post counts are like word counts; they're artifical carrots to goad us on, efforts to objectify tangible progress. The real value isn't in the count but in the content, and the connections that we make through our efforts.
So thanks for reading and commenting, and thanks to the Red Room founders and administrators for providing space. Thank you all, too, for the many words and insights you've shared, and the encouragement. See you in the book stores.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com