Last night, my son asked me if I had ever gone a day without writing. I thought he was talking about
writing in this blog--and with the very notable exception of this year, I have gone days and months and even a year without writing in Yoke.
But, he corrected me, he asked if there was ever one day in my whole life that I had gone without writing something, even a little something.
So I started thinking about how many words I've written in my lifetime (the answer is that I have no idea and I am never going to stop to figure it out, because that would be crazy) and also how many words I've written this year.
I did a quick tally and I've written an average of 6,000 words per week for the past 16 1/2 weeks--just about 99,000 words.
When I write everyday, I feel accomplished, but when I see 99,000 words, well I truly feel like a writer.
And I know the voice in my head is shouting: "OF COURSE YOU ARE A WRITER," while at the same time, the other voice shouts "BUT WHAT HAVE YOU REALLY WRITTEN?" It's hard to be anything without thinking you are not that. Like, I know I am a mother, but I am good enough mother? I know I am a wife, but am I doing wife-ing right? It's hard to say you are something, but then worry maybe you should not say you are not because you might be no good at it.
In 99,000 words, I think I've discovered a few things. I know that I can rotate through my honest emotions--amusement, despair, rage, grief, love, excitement and confusion--quite adeptly. I also learned that while nothing on Yoke has gone viral, the conversations that I've had about my writing have fueled me more than I thought possible. I've stopped thinking people are just being kind--and begun realizing that people are being honest and respect my writing. They read my writing.
And every writer wants a reader that isn't married to them or their mother.
Funny sidenote: my mother has never really read any of my writing. She isn't online. She is not super interested. And sometimes I wonder if she tells people I am a writer! A couple years ago, she encouraged me to become a realtor. Anyway, that issue is for another day. But, I can honestly say most of my readers are not related to me (some might be, but I get the feeling my extended family is NOT AT ALL COMPLIANT WITH READING YOKE. humpf). And how great is that (minus the whole family situation), to have readers who read because maybe they look forward to it?
As we dig into the second quarter of this year and approach 100,000 words on Yoke, I want you all to know that I won't stop writing. In fact, I will probably write even more. That's been the other lesson in these 99,000 words--writing is like endurance running, the more you do it, the farther you will go.
Thank you for motivating me to write the words you read!
Now, I am off to text shame my family into reading Yoke.