November is over…
No more writing for this guy. I apologize for a month’s worth of spam. I’m going to go hide in a cave with no pens, paper, or laptop, and just hibernate for a handful of centuries.
I honestly didn’t think I’d make it this far. There were more than a few times throughout the month where the pressure was starting to mount and I began to fall behind on the essays, and I thought I was going to for sure crack.
But here we are.
The first few essays were easy because I had the topics already mentally mapped out, but as I started getting towards the middle of the month, it became increasingly difficult to not only find interesting and provacative talking points to write about, but to also articulate them in a compelling fashion.
It was as though I had run out of words.
What I loved about #NationalWritingMonth was not only the challenge I took upon myself to become a better writer by actually writing, but through these essays I got a chance to explore a deeper, darker, more nuanced side to my personality. A side that not a whole lot of people got to see. A side that I don’t even get to see some times.
I feel an incredible rush of strength writing this final essay. Like I’ve vanquished the final boss in a Super Nintendo video game or graduated at the top of my class, I feel like I can do anything now.
I feel infinite.
But a few things I've learned that I need to improve on:
Write with others.
Engage in topics I normally wouldn’t be interested in.
Meet more people.
Don’t stop writing.
In a lot of ways, writing is a muscle. It needs to be constantly exercised and maintained at peak conditions in order for it to function at its most optimal level. Throughout college, I feel like I was the worst English major. I coasted on my instincts and intuitions when it came to constructing essays. I never put more than I needed to in my writing as long as I received a passable grade. I became lazy and complacent.
Writing isn’t necessarily a gift for me.
I wasn’t always confident in my abilities or even trusted my own voice. It took a long time and a lot of reflection to be able to come to this point in my life where I can proudly parade my work around without shame.
Even in this last essay, I write these words for myself and no one else. But I am grateful that thousands upon thousands of folks actually turned out to read my daily mental ramblings! It was nice to see folks come forth in solidarity saying they felt the same feelings before or they were happy to see me be so honest and vulnerable. It made the process feel less lonely.
A lot of you don’t know this, but during the harder stages of this experiment, it was you who kept me going. Your words of encouragement, your words of criticism, and your words of love were the fuel to my fire.
Thank you for your words, because they helped me find mine.
To my writer friends who I looked up to throughout the process (in alphabetical order):
T.C. De Witt
Traci G. Lee