Thursday, December 6, 2012

The friends that make this possible

As this blog approaches the landmark of 365 (a whole year's worth of) entries, I have come to realize how very difficult it is to be creative once a day, every single day. Scratch that, not difficult. It's pretty well near impossible. While in the beginning of this blog I used to compile writing ideas in notebooks and come back each night with fresh insights to share, it's gotten to the point where I no longer know exactly what to write about because I've exhausted so many of my great storytelling concepts.

This has led to issues with writers' block as well as terrible and repetitive blog entries that I must apologize for, if you happened to be one of the poor few who chose to read them all the way through. I thank you though, for your effort and devotion. I may not write this blog with the express purpose of having someone read it, but I'm nonetheless thankful for anyone who does. It's one of the greatest things to hear that anyone has appreciated your work, and since this is such a personal mode of address for me, it means even more to be told anyone reads my blog.

I've started to think of this experience as an allegory for real life. Out of passion and utter stupidity, I decided years ago that I wanted to dedicate myself to the craft of writing. This is not a lucrative career, nor is it one the guarantees success. Though I like to believe I'll eventually live a comfortable life, there is no telling what the future may hold. I can't just go to college and expect to come out with a great writing job. But I digress.

The experience of writing every single day has shown me some of the regular issues that arise with being a writer/journalist/literary career-person. Most significantly, I've learned how much of a nuisance it might become in my day-to-day life when I don't feel creative but I feel compelled to try to be anyway.

Because that is essentially what this blog is, and what writing is when it becomes a profession. Unless you're well-to-do and don't rely on your written work as a source of income, you will need to devote much of your time to cranking out stories (hard news, fiction or what have you) even when you perhaps don't feel inspired to do so.

This could become an extra burden if you're surrounded by people who couldn't give a flying fig about your need to be consistent as a writer.

In the past year, beyond my own coming to terms with my ability to write what are essentially long tangents on the internet every night, I've discovered what it is to be surrounded by people who care about and respect my life choices.

I don't think that writing a blog a day is a sensible idea. It's not one that you hear of and say "well that sounds like fun." Maybe it's respectable, but only because it's downright ridiculous and even crazy. Only a loon would do something like this by choice.

Which is why I'm so confused yet so grateful by how many of my loved ones have embraced my choice to be ridiculous and crazy. They didn't have to be so accepting. But along the way, I haven't faced the slightest bit of animosity (at least to the idea of blogging-a-day itself; though I have received unhappy commentary on individual blogs).

I couldn't tell you how many times this blog has forced me to disturb someone else. Whether it's their sleeping patterns or their general sanity, I've certainly tested a lot of friendships by being such a weirdo and pushing myself forward with this.

At Disneyland Paris, my friend Dana stayed up until midnight sitting in a McDonald's while I tried to compose a blog as best I could under the circumstances. Similar situations have happened when staying over with other friends and family. I put people through hell sometimes just so I can keep writing and continue with what pretty much turned into a New Years Resolution a little too late into the month of January 2011.

But the best part of it all is not the fact that I'm surrounded by patient and kind people, but that I've been met by nothing but encouragement from them even when forcing them to stay up into the wee hours of the morning (like now, for instance).

Maybe it's because they worry I'll resent them if I were to miss a post. If that's the case, then they're wrong because I would never feel that way. But regardless of the reason, it only makes me love someone more when they treat me (and my blog, I guess) with the compassion I need to feel that this strange life choice of mine was worth it.

So for the next few weeks (and going forward), I look forward to see how many more friendships I can test with the production of these words each day. I guess this is the real true test of friendship. If someone won't sit in a McDonald's at midnight with you while you write a blog (then get French Fries with you afterward on the walk home), then maybe it's time to re-evaluate your friendships. Something to think about.

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