First 1000 Words – a plea to my friends
It’s quite common to have a bucket list. I have a long one. For many years, I have been busy with various jobs, volunteer opportunities and raising a family with four children. While some things on my list have been checked off, it seems I am adding items faster than I can accomplish them. Our youngest child is a high school senior. If you’ve had one of those, you know they are very busy, self-reliant and gone a lot. I now have time to start emptying some items from my bucket before I “kick it.”
When I think back to the resolutions I have kept and the goals I’ve actually completed, I find that I do best with a purpose, a partner, or both. When I want to get back to running, I have to have a race in mind to work toward. When I set out to write a book, I can honestly say it would never have happened without my friend, Jenny Black.
Knowing my M.O, I’m asking for you to be my partner, and I’m going to describe my purpose. I’m hoping that you will help me with one of my list items? I would like to develop my writing skills. How do I do that? Practice. For the next year, I am going to write 1000 words a day, 5 days a week. Once a week I will post something on this blog to keep me honest. That is where you come in. There will be a notice on Facebook that I have posted something on my blog. (If you are reading this and are not on Facebook, send me your email, and I’ll make sure you get the message.) Please read my post and let me know what you think. I’m not asking for editing, although I’m sure you’ll find a lot that you could contribute. I’m asking for your thoughts and reactions to the ideas. This particular blog post will be longer than most, but there is a purpose behind that. Read to the end to find out why it is lengthy. Some of you may have already guessed. How is that for a teaser?
Ahh, the content, what will I blog about? I’ve been reading lots of books about writing. Many of them say, “Write what you know.” This led me to make another kind of list, a list of what I know. I know that it is easy to forget who you are in the midst of raising a family. I know how to help you remember who you are in case you have forgotten. I know it is important to accept yourself and to find your purpose. I know how to help people do that. I know what it feels like to think that you are just not as smart as other people, or not as nice or pretty. I know what it feels like to fear that you are losing any beauty you did have. I know how to find joy in every day. I know the thrill of believing that God just spoke through you because you just said something you didn’t know a few minutes before. I’m sure as I write my way through each day, there will be many things I come to know in the process that I can share with you, my bucket list buddies.
Over the next year there will be many changes in my life. As I stated, we will begin the empty nest phase of life. Our oldest child is getting married. One child will receive a master’s degree and will be looking for employment; one will begin his senior year of college – lots of transitions. As you respond to me, you will be sharing what you know. We may not get college credit for the lessons we learn together, but I’m hoping things will be thought provoking and most of the time a lot of fun.
Those of you who know me well, know that I can say 1000 words probably without taking a breath, or giving anyone else a chance to say a word. Boy, will this be different. As I have written this, day one of my 1000 words a day attempt, I found myself wanting to divide compound words into two separate words. My daughter told me a trick she has used in college. There have been times when a professor assigned a paper and designated it to be a certain length and font size. If she has written what she thinks is a complete paper, but her paper just doesn’t quite take up the allotted space, she somehow highlights the periods in the paper and makes just the periods one font size larger. It adds a little length without anyone being the wiser.
About now, I find myself wondering if there are any tricks like that I can do to create more words and still write properly.
As you may have guessed, I wanted this first post to be exactly 1000 words. I thought briefly that maybe I’d try to make the length of each week’s post exactly 1000 words, until I sat down and started typing. Each time I checked my word count I realized how many words 1000 really is, especially on one topic. So thanks for sticking with this entry for all 1000. I hope you are intrigued. I’m happy if you are even a willing friend, or just someone who has a hard time saying no. Thanks in advance for your support. Let me know if you choose to help and when you do let me know, tell me one item that is on your bucket list so that I can begin hoping alongside you, hoping that you get to check off some items soon. Sign up to follow this blog if that will make it easier, and if I can ever partner with you to empty an item from your bucket please ask.