500 Words. A Chance to Change

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I start a new challenge today. It should be easy. And it should be difficult. Yes, at the same time. Because that is the conflict and irony of a person with a passion for writing. We love it because it makes sense to us. We love it because it comes easy to us. We also love it because it is hard. It is a challenge to be met and a goal to reach. The process of turning the words swimming around in my head into something that makes sense to myself and others brings me to life. The chance to change someone through words makes me believe in the crazy power of language.

It is also terrifying. Because I want to write. I long to write. But, I hear the voice of fear saying “this will not happen for you; this dream is too big.” And that is a voice I can only silence through one thing: writing. I let the fear of failing as a writer keep me from writing. But, that stops today. I have signed on the virtual dotted line and made a promise to author Jeff Goins, to my fellow writers and, most importantly, to myself.

Every day this January, I will write. 500 words a day (at least). I will make time in my life to do the thing I love. I will watch less TV, I will get up earlier. I will make the changes in my life that will make it possible. And, after a month, it will be a habit. So, I will keep writing. I will keep making the words in my head appear on the page. I don’t pretend that it will be easy. I don’t imagine it will always be the thing I want to do at that moment. But, it will be what I do.

What will I write? Today it is this blog and this promise to my readers to share my journey. Tomorrow? I don’t know yet. I have two competing stories in my head and I don’t know which one will win until I open a word document and begin. One is fiction (Young Adult, of course.  I mean, this is ME!). One is non-fiction and about the power of living an ordinary life. They are completely different paths that I will journey. Finding the right one to start with is going to be part of how I spend today, the first day of 2014 – finding the first story.

Quick math tells me that at the end of this month, I will have written 15,500 words. 15,000 words of a new book, a new story. It’s only a start, but it’s also more than I’ve written in a long time. I’m a little terrified and a lot excited about what the next 31 days will bring. I don’t know what that means for my blog, but I know what it means for my heart: this is the year I stop talking about wanting to be a writer and instead simply be a writer.

Happy 2014!

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