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 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’