(Salty language alert. Read (or don’t read) accordingly.)
“Hey! I’ve got an idea!” she said to herself. “You should totally use your birthday to get in the habit of writing more frequently. Daily! You can do it. You fucking can.”
Day 2 (Something about aging.): It’s the day after your 56th birthday. You are fucking old. Write about that. And you’ll need some shtick or convention here. Something to hold this all together. SOMETHING….
Day 3 (Something unfinished.). Are you really going to do this? How about let’s clean out the “drafts” folder before starting something new, shall we, dear? And you should add a little blurb at the end of each of these posts, letting people know that it’s part of something bigger. Because most of these posts are going to be… lacking polish, cohesive narrative threads, compelling content, et cetera. Write a blurb, then go back and add it to the first posts.
Day 4 (Something structured.): OK, you’re doing this. So do it. And use the challenge to stretch your writing skills, silly. Use a classic 5-paragraph essay format to explain what you’re doing. Think of Mrs. Newberry (now Mrs. Kelly). Delight in that memory for a minute. Don’t forget the blurb at the end of the post.
Day 5 (Something predictable.): It’s Saturday. You go to the farmer’s market and write about food and cooking on Saturdays. Do that.
Day 6 (Something sweet.): You wanted to write a post about those silly Seessel’s raspberry pinwheel cookies. No better time than today…
Day 7 (Something positive.): One week; yay! But the news today was utterly fucking depressing. So…. Try for something calming, for yourself if no one else.
Day 8 (Something for day’s end.): Just share St. Augustine’s evening prayer, with a free printable. Do it.
Day 9 (Something fictional.): But back to that draft folder… How about one of the short stories – maybe The Mockingbird Hunter?
Day 10 (Something short and informational.): Actually, you should explain what you are doing. Like, clearly. And then you should do it.
Day 11 (Something recycled): You spent too much time on this yesterday. It’s a fucking blog. Repost something old, with a fresh edit, and be done with it.
Day 12 (Something sentimental.): Look at that! You’re refreshed! Now write something. Think about a story that inspired you at the beginning of all of this, back in 2012. And make a pretty featured image to go with it.
Day 13 (Something about growth.): How will you address that fine line between what happens in your work-work and what happens in your life – the things you write about here? Think about that. Write about that.
Day 14 (Something about something.): Two weeks! Running out of gas! A timed free write to the rescue….
Day 15 (Something about 2 blonde sisters.): You said you were going to try posting in the morning, but you didn’t get that done. And now it’s afternoon and you still haven’t posted. Dig deep; think of something funny; your sister is funny. Start there.
Day 16 (Something silver.): This thing about your mother has been on your mind. Write about it.
Day 17 (Something about quitting.): How about taking a draft, an old post, and a fresh idea, and trying to pull them together into one thing. A thing about Quitting. Because on day 17, quitting is starting to seem like a reasonable idea here. But you are not a quitter.
Day 18 (Something blue.): You got a reminder email about World Cyanotype Day. Hey! Write about that!
Day 19 (Something about oceans.): A fucking hurricane is going to hit New Orleans on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Fuck.
Day 20 (Something peaceful.): Be peaceful. Peace is an inside job. Write about that.
Day 21 (Something about cooking. And laundry. And motherhood.): Look! Another timed free-write! How about… laundry….
Day 22 (Something still true.): For reasons that will remain private, edit and repost the post about your dad.
Day 23 (Something about fighting.): Write about something new – something that’s been on your mind: Why are we all always fighting?
Day 24 (Something unconscionable.): Fucking Texas….
Day 25 (Something halfway.): Look! You’re halfway through! Write about that feeling you get when you cross the halfway mark in a race, or on an important project. Wait… Why aren’t you actually feeling that feeling right now?
Day 26 (Something about recipes.): You’re good at math. You are. And you know that half of 56 is 28, not 23. You know this. The reason you’re not feeling the halfway mark shitshift? Because you’re not halfway done, silly. So put on the big girl panties and write something new. Keep going.
Day 27 (Something about stories.): Why are you doing this again? Why do you enjoy telling stories? Whose stories?
Day 28 (Something laborious.): Your firstborn child is 20. Your second child is about to head to college. How the hell did that happen? Write about that.
Day 29 (Something cattywampus.): Oh, hell. It’s Tuesday, not Monday. Fucking three day weekends….
Day 30 (Something about vodka.): Pasta alla vodka. Good stuff, that.
Day 31 (Something real.): You have to get the yearbook ad done for your daughter before you can work on your blog. So write about that.
Day 32 (Something about time.): Why are we stuck in the trauma of September 11?
Day 33 (Something to ask yourself.): I mean, is what we’re doing actually working? For anyone?
Day 34 (Something for bedtime.): A child died in a car crash, and your daughter is sad. No writing. Be Mama. Read her a bedtime story about being brave, about why human connections matter.
Day 35 (Something for my daughter.): Oh, that daughter. She is your muse. Always has been. Write about her. Write to her.
Day 36 (Something about pizza.): Ordering pizza is phoning it in. Making pizza from scratch is acknowledging that you want to phone it in but you are committed. You are. You fucking are.
Day 37 (Something outstanding.): Wait: There’s a MOVIE about Jim Denevan??? Oh, write about that. And go back and look at all those photos. Those photos, and that blog post, from 2013? Not too shabby. Repost that. Jim Denevan… Swoon….
Day 38 (Something about finishing.): You’re going to finish this challenge. You are.
Day 39 (Something about your brain.): Part of this clutter in your head problem is situational. Our brains weren’t meant for all of this. Write about that. It will help the clutter.
Day 40 (Something about finding one’s voice.): By 40 a woman is supposed to have come into her own, right?
Day 41 (Something for lunch.): Back to the original, original idea: Food, cooking, dinner. But what if all that attention on dinner was misplaced? What if lunch was where the magic happened? Write about that.
Day 42 (Something about commitment.): You should be selective now. You’ve only got a few more days in this little lark. Take a look at how far you’ve come. Think about what you’ve learned. Then sleep. Tomorrow is another day.
This post is 42/56 in a self-directed challenge to write (or at least post) something (SOMETHING) every day – a birthday gift to me from me, because writing gives me a place to put the clutter that lives in my head.