"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." –Hemingway
Two weeks ago, I came across the idea to write 500 words every day. I don’t remember where the blog was found, but the idea is to increase how often you write. Rather than agonizing over word choice and getting paralyzed by trying to create the perfect post, the author was just advocating for you to write 500 words and then post it, no editing. The challenge was to extend for the month of January. However, it was already Jan 12th when I read about the 500 word challenge so it’s possible that I may keep doing it into February. And let’s just say that the part about no editing is really hard for me! My goodness, I read just about everything with a mental red pen so you can imagine how much I want to comb over my posts with my editing hat on. I confess, I have been editing some here and there. Most of my posts don’t contain perfect grammar anyway just because of the style of posts.
But today I got to thinking about why I write. Am I trying to encourage others? Spur them on in their faith? Maybe offer a glimpse into what I am learning about God and faith and this journey we call life? Or am I just promoting me? Depending on the moment, all of these have been true. Some days I feel compelled to write. There are words inside of me that just beg to be put onto a page. The words just won’t go away and will cause me to lose sleep if I don’t write them down. But there have also been those days when I have written something that just made me look good. That’s not a proud confession, just an honest admission that my motives for writing are not always in the right place.
In October 2006, I decided to start a blog. I’ve kept a journal for years. I still have some journals from when I was a young girl. It’s pretty funny to read the entries from back then. The things I thought were worth chronicling are amusing. But then I suppose there will be a day when I look back on my entries from these days and just chuckle.
However, there are days when I want to put words to a page but I don’t feel like picking up a pen. It’s on those days that appreciate having a blog. It gives me that outlet to write quickly. And writing quickly helps me to process my thoughts. It helps me clarify the chaos that sometimes swirls in my head. It becomes an outlet for the words that stir within.
Hemingway’s quote sort of resonated with me because that’s sometimes what it feels like….bleeding on a page. Granted, I don’t sit at a typewriter but the idea is still accurate. Sometimes I sit down to write and it’s like a part of my heart is splashed all over the screen. I become vulnerable and leave a piece of me out there for people to read. Doing this 500 word project has also been an exercise in being real. Searching in me for 500 words every single day has been way more challenging than I would have guessed. But it’s been good for me too. Every day I get to sit and think. Process through my day. Deciding what to “bleed” onto the screen.
I don’t know how long I’ll keep up the 500 words project after January is over. But I’m grateful for the past couple of weeks of writing. It’s been a good thing for me to do.