“There. I wrote something today, just so that I can say ‘I wrote something.’”
You have no idea how many times this single line, or something like it, has been my sole writing for the day.
I thought about this as I was reading an entry in my friend Avery’s blog, Resonant Echo, about her quest to write 500 words a day, which works out to 15,000 words a month. She noted that there were days that she didn’t write, but that on other days, she wrote quite a bit, which had the effect of making up for those days when she didn’t write.
The whole thing made me think about those nearly wordless days, as I continue this pledge to post something of at least 500 words every day. In doing this, I’ve come across days when I absolutely, positively, was in no mood to write anything whatsoever, or just didn’t get around to putting down my daily dose of words. Fortunately, like Avery, I have days in which I write quite a bit more than 500 words (and often write more than one essay), and therefore make up for those empty days.
There is something about just writing that single sentence on those murky days that makes me feel a lot better. There, I’m able to say to myself, I wrote something. Doesn’t matter that it was one sentence; the fact remains that I tapped out a bunch of words, and that I can now say that I did so.
I often notice that most of the time, probably due to my having done this for over thirty years now, that one sentence often leads to others. Okay, I say to myself on those days, I wrote a sentence, so I may as well see if I can tap out another. Many times, this leads to a couple of hundred words or so.
This, in fact, has often led to other essays. No, they’re not amazing or anything, but the people who read them tell me that they didn’t feel as if they wasted the minutes that they spent reading them.
Yet still, there are days in which, for whatever reason, I can’t get around to setting down the 500 or so words that I like to write every day. Often, it’s due to having something to take care of in the morning, which is my favorite time to write. On those days, the afternoon comes around, which is usually the last chance to write something, and then something else comes up.
Evening, for me, is basically a lost cause, writing wise. If I haven’t written anything in the morning or afternoon, this is the time where I simply accept that this day was a day without words, and I spend that time taking in words, either by reading, or watching something.
Even on those days, however, when I’m about to go to bed and realize that I haven’t added any words to the sum total of words that I’ve written in my life, I like to at least have something, anything, that indicates that I got something down. There is something about managing to get a few words in, even on the days that my mindset and the events of the day conspired to silence me.
So on those empty days, I write that solitary sentence. It often leads to something, but even if it doesn’t, it carries with it a sense of accomplishment, however small. I wrote something, I’m able to say to myself, and tomorrow, I shall perhaps write a great deal more.