I wrote this back in June so some of the numbers and dates are old but the sentiment is the same. I took me this long to pull the trigger on posting this because I had grown so comfortable with the My 500 crew and was hesitent – to say the least – about making any changes.
God Bless you All
For more than five months now, since 1 January 2014, I have been participating in a writing challenge on Facebook. It was started by Jeff Goins and he called it My 500 Words – and it has been great for me as far as getting me in habit of writing every day – a discipline I desperately needed.
I have faithfully written at least 500 words every day this year and amassed more words than I think I ever have in a single year.
It is astounding.
I am beyond grateful to Jeff for getting this started. I think, like most of the people, we went into January thinking it would be cool to write every day for a month and also liked the idea of having, if only on line, accountability partners but I doubt anyone saw this becoming – a movement.
But it turned into so much more. It took on a life of its own. I have, I now call them, friends that started this journey with me way back in January and we’re still on the train. Along the way we’ve picked up new riders lost some of the original gang but through the months and all the changes we have continued to support one another.
We’ve provided feedback on different pieces of writing; we’ve prayed for one another, laughed, cried and some of us have even had the pleasure of meeting IRL!
It has been an amazing ride.
I have only had one other experience in my life where a group of like minded strangers found themselves bound by a single common thread and grew together in unexpected and now irreplaceable ways.
I would not trade a moment or a single one of them for anything this world has to offer and that is what makes this so difficult.
I have decided to leave My 500 Words.
I did not come to this decision hastily – in fact, this was the hardest piece to put in place. Like a puzzle you’ve spent hours working on only to find that you hesitate before placing that final shape and completing the picture. You know that you’re going to love the outcome but you’ve given so much time to this you know you’re going to miss the process as much as the finished product. Even though in the back of your mind you know that you have another puzzle in the closet that you cannot wait to get started.
Leaving My 500 Words is something I decide to do because I need to take my writing in a different direction and I am keeping myself from going the way I believe I am meant to go because I have been so focused on getting my 500 words written that what those words consisted of has lost the focus I originally intended.
Which was to write material for my stand up routine.
I am a writer – but not like so many of you. Can I write? Well, yes, I will not be falsely modest here but my strength does not lie in my ability to write fiction or poetry.
For me it is about, and it has to be ALL about writing jokes.
At heart, at my core, my love, my calling is comedy and I have been avoiding it all year; somewhat intentionally, some of it because I got caught up in the lure of being the OTHER kind of writer.
I am not going to quit writing, I am not even going to quit writing every day – I will not break the chain – I figure it is going to take me several days to stop doing 500 word free writes anyway.
I am, however, going to be more focused on what I write and less on how much. I will be working on material and that may only be 50 to 100 words at a time but the idea is to write everyday – I think this was Jeff’s original intention and it was the idea behind my hash tag #dontbrekthechain – which I got from an article about how Jerry Seinfeld works or worked when he was a touring comic.
His advice was to write every day. The only way to get better is to write and to not break the chain; the same as My 500 Words.
Again, I have been so caught up in the number 500 I have not been able to get myself to write material and a joke can be just a few words – a few words worked and reworked a number of times over.
I still have my 2014 calendar and I will continue to mark off the days as I go.
I’ll be around the group for another couple days and I would love to stay in touch with all of you. If we’re not already friends outside My 500 please send me a freind request or subscribe here – if you’re interested in where the rest of my journey takes me then I am interested in where yours is headed as well!
I would not feel right without saying one last thing – My journey, wherever it goes, is being led by God. My trust and faith in Him and His son Jesus Christ are surpassed by nothing. The Bible says that Jesus is the only way to God and, as unpopular as it may be, I believe that to be true. If you have a relationship with Jesus GREAT – I encourage YOU to open you bible and read it for yourself, if you don’t I pray that will you take some time – like when you’re done reading this – and follow this link to the Gospel of John. You’ll read about God’s massive love for you and me – for all of us and the sacrifice He made to reconcile Himself to us.
God Bless each of you.
Y’all keep the acorn spinnin’
Mick, when you say leave, part of me hopes you’ll come back and share some of your standup comedy with us. I will feel the loss of your company on this journey though am happy knowing you’ll take your writing in your new direction where I sure you will be bless as you bless us with laughter. I am sure God knew exactly what he was doing when he created laughter and can’t help but sense a warm future for you there. We have to focus where called. Hope to see some YouTube updates with you delivering good standup. Many blessings on your journey and please stay in touch!
Thank you ma’am – I am planning to “be around” a lot so…stay tuned.
Mike I believe that your passion is to be a Christian comedian and I pray that God guides you there I love you my friend and pray for you daily. Keep moving and growing in Christ!!
Thanks Ron. Love you too brother. Miss working with you in the Garage.
Well, my friend, I support you completely in this decision. When writing becomes a number, it has become a math problem. We don’t need problems. I am so happy we got to meet and share some time together. I suspect your writing will take many turns. I’m glad to know you. And…BTW….Your best post yet!
Thanks Becky. I am glad we met too. It was a great honor to meet you and to be able to say I “know” an author. Your willingness to help and your advice has been a blessing to me and to others in the My 500 group and beyond that I am sure. The ideas you gave me about how you chronicled your writing journey is what the inspiration for the way I am going to move PADAG forward. Thanks again.
Sometimes you need to pick a direction and go with it! 🙂
Well played sir, well played indeed!
I’ll be excited to hear how you do as you pursue tickling the funny bones of others. Oh how laughter is so important. And I love Seinfeld.
I have enjoyed being part of this group and I’ve seen others drift away. Make sure you let us know. And I’ve included my Facebook Author page.
I am nervous and excited too – I believe laughter to be one of the most under utilized tools in ministry and life in general. Jerry is one of my favs too, I would say that next to Bill Cosby, Jerry’s work has had the biggest impact on what I do/want to do. Thanks for the link to your page I will stop by.
Well, power to ya’, Mick…but dammit. Gonna miss you. One question, though–why are My500 and writing for your standup comedy mutually exclusive? Truly wondering.
COA, Gonna miss being around the group too, I am not sure that the two have to be exclusive except for me at least for right now -I feel that as part of that group my commitment must remain at the 500 word level and I don’t always have that many words come out for jokes. So, we can call it a mindset thing, I feel like I am cheating you guys that are working hard to knock out 500 words and I am not – does not seem fair to me. I will, of course, never close the door on a return but for now I need to remove myself from the group.
I don’t remember who said it, but whoever said it, said, “Every comedian wants to be taken seriously.” May God bless your effort. Lee’s Nite Radio
Thank you Lee, He’s blessed me in so many other ways that any blessing on this effort will be icing and the cake!
Awesome, Mick – go for your dreams!
Thanks Loren. Appreciate the support!
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