Five hundred words a day is a commitment I want to make to myself. It does not sound like very much, until you take into account the fact that during this summer, when I have virtually no responsibilities, it is difficult for me to actually do much of anything because I have so much free time.
I have been granted a gift--I do not say this to blow my own smoke, I am simply stating something that has been affirmed over again by friends and family and people I have never even met. This particular gift is one that involves a creative spirit and contains an ability to communicate with the written language. And even if this is self-deception; and it may very well be; it is enough that I believe that this gift exists and that there is a divine purpose in it. Knowing that about it, I further believe it is a sin to contain such a gift and allow it to fall into disuse. I should be writing. I should be writing regularly and frequently.
I have been struggling with writing for the last few years. One need only look at my original blog to see that something happened in 2007 that made even keeping up with a daily blog a hassle I could not deal with. I know what my excuses are--and those excuses are irrelevant. I stopped writing, and trying to pinpoint the reason will do no good going forward.
Writing is exercise. Writing must be done regularly in order for me to maintain a level of comfort and ease with it. But I have not been writing for myself for quite some time now, and it often seems like a struggle even to sit down and write for something else. Like a school report, for instance. Or a "brief autobiography". Or some correspondence.
Or a sermon.
Ten years ago, all I had to do was sit down at my desktop computer and start typing. It did not matter exactly what it was that came out of my fingers, I only had to type the words. If it stunk, no problem I would just go back over it. I felt as if I were in a zone; as if the words would just flow off of my fingers with no problem.
I miss that feeling. I get bits and pieces of it when I do my occasional writing; especially when writing a sermon--but it has been quite some time since I whole pages have simply flown right out of my brain and on to a computer screen. That is why I have decided to make this commitment to myself--that I would spend some time each day writing five hundred words or more of my own stuff.
Those words may be a blog post.
Those words might be the beginning or part of a short story.
Those words might be an essay, or commentary about a sermon I am writing.
What is vitally important, though, is that I write substantially, and that I write regularly.
And there are my five hundred words.