900. It’s not quite over 9000, but it’s the number of entries I will have completed when I click that little blue “publish” button on the right hand side. You can’t see it, but it taunts me every time I sit down to do one of these. At the summation of this entry, that button will have taunted me for over 450 hours. Does the button even exist? Or art thou but a button of the mind, a false creation proceeding from my self-obsessed brain? That fear is foul, but foul is fair enough. Dumb.
It’s assuring on some level that despite this being entry 900, the goal of becoming a better writer is still a rainbow I’m happy to reach for (with good reason). I think I’ve improved, but I’ve still got infinite things to work on. I’m no pro, it’s not like every entry flows effortlessly in a stream from my mind to the page. I still have to think about it, I get frustrated when it’s not happening, I have to force myself through miniscule bouts of writer’s block. Why am I celebrating these things? Because it’s a good sign that I’m nowhere near finished. I’ve got reason to continue with whatever this project has morphed into. I think about that from time to time. It’s so set in my head that writing every day is just what I do now, but when does it end? When do I know that I’ve accomplished what I wanted from it? Could I simply run out of things to say? Will there be a sign? A point at which I recognise growth isn’t forthcoming and it’s time to cut the tubes?
As it stands, it is and it isn’t what I originally intended. Something I created to foster an impulse to write stand up has amassed bulk like a katamari. The phrased that I’ve death gripped from the start is “creativity on tap” and I still feel like it’s relevant. As it’s grown though, it’s become so much more than that. It’s become a place I can put my thoughts down and remember where I was at during times of my life. In some ways, though I’ve started professional therapy, that therapy began here. I’ve used some of this writing as a portfolio and leveraged that into actual writing gigs. I’ve done concert reviews and food blogging all because of this project.
A big thing for me happened the other day in therapy when I gave my therapist one of my pieces. “You’re a really good writer” she said, and it resonated somewhere within me. That’s not a compliment I feel comfortable 100% accepting just yet, but I give thanks for it nonetheless. It’s not the first time someone’s said it and most times I’ve refuted or mitigated it (turning back or down a compliment, shitty thing to do, I know). That resonance though, there’s a kernel of value I place on hearing a compliment like that from someone I really respect. It makes me feel that if a person with that kind of status gives praise, it’s not because they feel like they needed to do so out of social courtesy. It’s deferring respect from a position of authority and makes it easier to accept the compliment as genuine. Hearing that validated that perhaps there is justification to doing this every day, that sacrificing a ton of small time allotments over a while has led to something concrete. As if I’ve worked and earned something for my efforts. 450 hours is a big number that didn’t mean a lot to me before putting it down on this page. It’s close to 3 months of full time employment. I’m almost out of my probationary period. Maybe I’ve come to prove my worth.