November 5, 2017
Last July, I wrote a narrative about jumping off the diving board. It was a true story. It really did take me years to work my way off that high dive. But I also meant my story to be symbolic of jumping into scary things, of getting started without knowing how it would end. I purposely didn’t end the story, but left the reader hanging, not knowing — but assuming — that all ended well, that I was able to survive my jump and safely swim to the edge of the pool. I think I really wanted to convince myself that jumping into scary things would end up ok.
My goal was to start this blog — ironically named “Just Jump In”.
I started it alright. I even paid money for an upgraded blog package because I was really going to start writing now. I think I managed two whole posts all summer.
And then CRICKETS.
I found myself back on the symbolic high dive, wanting desperately to add to my writing, but unable to make that jump. I even wrote in my introduction to the parents of my 5th grade students that I write something every day (actually true IF you count writing lesson plans and completing endless paperwork).
Last month, I read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson. Then I subscribed to his blog (markmanson.net), where he promised access to a class on writing, and has a post about starting a blog which is only available to subscribers. (I love his book AND his blog, BTW.) One thing I learned from his post is that to become a writer, you have to actually write. Not news, since literally every book I have ever read about becoming a writer says the EXACT same thing. But Mark says something more quantifiable — he said that you need to write hundreds of thousands of words, and over 100 pages on a single topic before you even know what you want to write about — before you ever find your voice.
So, imaginary reader, this blog will probably take the form of a Seinfeld episode for a while — a blog about nothing specific. My goal is to write, to find my voice. I hope someone joins me for the ride.
385 words down, 999,615 words to go.