Fifty Thousand Words

Last night (7/11/18) marked the first 50,000 words of my fledgling writing career. I suppose I had written about 65 blog posts before then, but this was my first true, lengthy project. Fifty thousand words…that still doesn’t seem like a lot to me. Honestly. I thought it would feel momentous, but editing reared it’s ugly head almost as quickly as the fifty thousandth key was pressed. The real work has only just begun. I am going to need to revise, edit, and polish what I have so far…multiple times. Additions will be made, entire sections will be ripped out. I’m not looking forward to it, let’s just keep it at that.

Although, sitting on the dock this morning, my creative cup is down to a few drops. I need to fill it back up with some relaxation, activity, reading, kayaking, whatever it takes to get my creative juices flowing again. You can’t get water from a rock. I suppose I could go after inspiration with a club, as London would say, but, I would prefer a few glasses of cabernet and a good mood. I need to step away from Landon and Lily for a bit. I need to get out into the world, and study some social interactions. The world is overflowing with material, I just need to skim a few pages.

The best part about this whole process, is that there’s no pressure. I certainly don’t have to wake up and start writing by 6am every day. I also don’t have to write 1,000 words before breakfast, either. There are no deadlines, and no money on the table. I do it because I enjoy it. I enjoy letting my family read it. Their reactions are enough for me. For now. I would love for a broader audience to have access to my thoughts and work, but that will come when it is ready. I have a long way to go. A very long way.

The good news, is that I could see myself continuing this until I kick the bucket. It relieves my anxiety, makes me more self-aware, more empathetic, and is motivation to expand my horizons. Looking forward, I’m going to need to read more books, write a little more every day, and expand into different genres. The great, american classics, while highly entertaining and a favorite of mine, need to be shuffled into a foreign deck of cards so to speak. I need to mix it up a bit. Steinbeck, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Twain, and London will always have a special place in my heart, and have kick-started this journey for me. I hope to be able to hold a candle to them someday…one can dream.

If nothing else, this writing journey has taught me more than I was expecting it to. Writing makes me more in tune with social cues, settings, and persons. I notice much more than I used to. Tone, body language, interactions, seating arrangements, and conversations seem to happen in much more detail. It has been fascinating to say the least. A remarkable transformation has taken place with my empathy, or lack thereof. I’ve never felt so connected to people. I feel as if I know what they are saying, even if they haven’t said a word. Kind of bizarre. Probably makes me a better person, and more enjoyable to be around if nothing else.

At the very least, this process has gotten me out of bed early, and I have witnessed the golden hour of sunrise every single day for weeks on end now. It has only reinforced my opinion of it being the best time of day. Each one is unique, special, and inspiring. There have been mornings where the water is black obsidian, smooth and dark, and the sky is a mix of hot neon orange, red, pink and purple, like the view of another planet. Other mornings have been serenely white and blue. Puffy clouds drift on the treeline, and golden rays give them subtle halos. Other times, a stern breeze blows in my face as clouds blot out the great eye in the sky. I enjoy each and every one. Summer has prevented rainy mornings for the most part, which I am grateful for.

It allows me to walk down to the dock with a french press, coffee mug, laptop, phone and headphones, and sometimes a banana…I face my chair in the direction of where the sun will rise, and tap on my keys until it breaches the treetops. What a way to start the day.

The wildlife has made a recovery in the area. My writing partners consist of green and blue herons, ospreys, otters, beavers, snapping turtles, a variety of fish and minnows, and a symphony of songbirds that let me know it is a good time to be writing. The experience of the wildlife and the sunrise makes the entire  process worthwhile. It has renewed my sense of appreciation for not only life, but for its fragility and complexity. Evolution hums around me. It is humbling to witness a complete and utter lack of regard for all of man’s trivial pursuits and constructs.

Overall, I think it was a successful start. I think I may have used a little too much “stimulant” at times, although I understand why the great novelists have done the same. Writing is hard. It is hard to maintain the confidence that what you’re putting down is worth reading. There are days when I’ve felt utterly stagnant, disheveled, no good, delusional, questioned my ability and sanity, and felt like I should throw my laptop into the Patuxent. There are those days, and there are the days that the words flow from my fingertips seamlessly, I feel like I’m already rubbing elbows with Fitz and Ernest, and I’ll be an American great in no time. Like any other endeavor or pursuit, there will be ups and downs…and one must maintain patience, discipline, consistency, and practice practice practice. So, in conclusion, I think I’m going to stick with the whole writing thing. It fits, I love it, and hopefully I can strut around with it one day. And if not, I’m just glad my family enjoys reading it. Onwards and upwards. (I’m at 1050…time for breakfast bruh)

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