Last week I wrote my 500th blog post. Subtracting 75 for photos, maybe another 25 for simple quotes or poems, this leaves me with about 400 short essays, each of which generally takes me well over an hour, sometimes a day or two, to write. I could have written a book.
A book without focus or direction; one full of sappy stories, crazy observations, family nostalgia and political frustrations. A book that, had I allotted just two hours a day to writing, I could have finished in 200 days, less than one kindergarten year. But I didn't write a book, I wrote 400 odd essays about every kind of random thing I could think of, and I'm not finished. There are 400 more ideas scratched into my little black notebook, and when I can't find that, I write on scraps of paper or magazine order forms, receipts and menus; no blank surface is safe from my Sharpie, non marker, pen.
Not that many people read what I have to say, but I'm grateful to those that do. Friends, family and a few others who are fool enough to knock off a few minutes each week with my dribble, I appreciate the interest. My college roommate doesn't call anymore, she told me she finds all she needs to know here, which is clearly a negative side effect to my putting thoughts to paper. On the positive side I've had the opportunity to write for a two blog groups, a truly rewarding experience, and one that has the promise of opportunity. One essay, a short diddy about Mad Libs, was picked up and distributed in small newspapers all over the country. My elation was somewhat tempered by Jack pointing out that people in Tacoma, Washington now know that my daughter likes to use "vergeenya" when asked for a noun. As is our life, the one I've decided to share.
For years people have been telling me to write, not because of my wicked skill, but because I seem to be party to some truly ridiculous stuff: ran out of gas in a fast food drive through, drove through a store window...I'm a bad driver, we've established that. My grandmother and father provide me with wonderful material, as do my children, my dear husband, his family, and mine. I'm grateful to all the characters, it doesn't take much imagination to put this together, some observation, a good memory, and time, the thing I am always lacking. My focus should be, at this point, trying to claw out a living, but I always come back to the blog. Terrible pay, limited benefits, but deeply fulfilling.
When I first started I printed out 10 or so essays for my mother, who has never touched a computer, to read. She handed them back to me the next day and said "I have absolutely NO idea what you are trying to accomplish". Neither do I Mom but I am certainly enjoying the work.