When I read See Jane Write magazineâ€™s call to â€œ#BlogLikeCrazyâ€ (that is, to post something every day for the entire month of November), I thought, I just might do it this year. The thought that immediately followed: But that really is crazy. You know what November looks like.
Since you donâ€™t, Iâ€™ll give you an idea: proposal for a document project thatâ€™s 70% of my grade due Monday. A couple weeks later, my employerâ€™s biggest event of the year takes place, and this year for the employees, it will be a 13-hour affair on that day, which says nothing of the expected 50-hour work weeks involved in the eventâ€™s preparation. Then thereâ€™s Thanksgiving, during which I actually want to spend time with family and not work on whatever assignment is due the following Monday. And thereâ€™s working on the document project, which will be due less than two weeks after #BlogLikeCrazy ends.
There are also the other writing projects I should be working on, like my book, or finding an agent for it, or an essay Iâ€™ve been trying to finish for more than a year, or researching journals to submit it to. If I can make time to write every day, shouldnâ€™t I put that time and effort towards something other than blogging?
Whoops! I just implied that blogging is a lesser art, which is not what I meant to say, nor is it the direction this post was supposed to go. But since Iâ€™ve taken it there, I may as well acknowledge that sometimes I think it is. Anyone can throw up a blog; the internet isnâ€™t restricted to use for good or even mediocre writers only, or critical thinkers for that matter. I started my first blog in 2009 to share my experience as a displaced worker drowning in a sea of unemployed bodies and Lehman Brothersâ€™ ashes. The writing wasnâ€™t always good (still isnâ€™t), but a few people paid attention to the blog, and it did lead to a regular columnist gig and a grant to start Redbone Afropuff. And what are you always hearing these days about promoting your unwritten book before seeking an agent or self-publishing? Build your author platform. Start a blog. Grow your following. Include the number of unique page views in your book proposal. So increasing my following by buffing up my content by adding content every day isnâ€™t out of bounds for my goals.
But for me #BlogLikeCrazy is about discipline. Iâ€™ve been struggling for years with the daily time management needed to achieve all of my writing goals; taking this on would surely mean failure, especially right now. But if not now, when?
The tug-of-war ensued in my head, and I finally said, â€œIâ€™ll pray on it. Iâ€™ll ask God if I should participate in #BlogLikeCrazy this year.â€ I said this knowing this strategy is a copout for me. I have friends who say God talks back (I always think Exodus burning bush scene), but he and I donâ€™t communicate that way. Let me shorten what could be a second memoir by saying, wondering if God wants me to do what Iâ€™m thinking about doing has worked spectacularly as a recipe for paralyzing indecisiveness rather than as a step on the path towards â€œgetting all God has for me.â€ But I still have a very Christian habit of looking for answers in signs, and I found them: over the next two days, three quotes about the importance of discipline in making oneself a better writer appeared. True, they were in spaces especially for writers, but thatâ€™s all I needed. If not now, when?
Hereâ€™s the favorite among the quotes that pushed me to join the challenge:
â€œI started writing at the age of twenty. I just decided to one day. And then I wrote the next day and the day after that. I wrote on Saturdays. I wrote on Christmas. I kept doing it. I’m not sure what was the catalyst that made me a professional because I was always working. I worked cleaning houses or whatever I had to and I didn’t have any shame in that. So when young people ask about writing, I just don’t know what to say because you can’t teach discipline. There’s not really a way to teach discipline. And you have to write because the suckiness has to come out. You’ve got about seven years of suckiness to get out of you before it gets really good. You know, writing that is just…so…baaad.” â€“David Sedaris (emphasis mine)
According to when I started my first blog, Iâ€™ve put in about five years. But I donâ€™t write every day, so I could still be in year one. So yes, #BlogLikeCrazy.