Halfway!

turtle

Yesterday I hit the halfway mark in this project. I’ve been writing for 185 consecutive days! That exclamation point feels well-deserved.

I have written on days I haven’t wanted to, and there have been many. I have written while sick. I have written while depressed. I have written while breastfeeding. I have written amidst noise and distraction. I have written just before the clock hit midnight. I have written through writer’s block. I have written after a car accident. Every day. I show up. I search for words and construct sentences. I go digging for small truths about myself that have lead to larger truths.

Throughout this project, I’ve asked myself if all these unpaid hours away from my family are worth it. After all, during the editing process (here and in my other writing), thousands of words never even make the cut. What is the value of this daily practice? What is the value of writing at all?

There seems to be no quantifiable value beyond the word counts and number of days. Sometimes it’s hard to know if I’m really getting anywhere. But there are other ways to measure progress.

Back in April, with flushed cheeks and a hesitant voice, I read aloud a piece of my writing in front of a small group of strangers. For the first time in years, I was back in a writing workshop. I remember the anxiety I felt driving to that class. Four months later, in July, I gave a public reading of my work, stood up with a microphone and read an excerpt from one of my published essays. What sounds like a leap was achieved in small steps.

At this midway milestone, I am much more comfortable using my voice.

Motherhood caused a sea change in me. I processed the changes in a quiet, wordless space. This daily practice resurrected my voice, helped me find the words to explain this new version of myself and the new things I perceive. To quote Joan Didion, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” This is where the value lies. This is writing’s greatest reward.

(Post 185 of 365)

Photo credits: Turtle Rescue League and Debbie Long

 

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10 thoughts on “Halfway!”

  1. Congratulations! What an achievement–especially considering you are the parent of a young child! (For real, I don’t know how you do it.)

    I love reading your posts and can’t wait to see where the journey takes you this next half of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachel, your blog writing and your presence here have been an invaluable part of this experience for me. Would I have had the courage to continue without your thoughtful feedback, advice, wit, critical commentary, and consistent support and encouragement? I’m not sure.
      Thank you, my friend, from the bottom of my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. And to think of that conversation at the Christmas party last year, when you and Matt both said, “Do it. Start a blog.” Forever grateful for that, and for getting to write alongside you!

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  2. Thank you for your kind and gracious words, Sarah. I feel the same way both in terms of your blog and your comments on mine. It’s amazing the way this friendship came to be, with Amie as the lynchpin in various ways. I didn’t realize she was the one (along with Matt) who encouraged you to head out on one blue sail in the first place. I would never have made it through Fordham without her and now the three of us making our way through child-raising and nostalgia and pulling weeds and truth-digging together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is crazy how this works! The project itself seems to carry its own momentum, propelling me forward. And I’m a little in awe of it’s power to effect change.

      Liked by 1 person

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