Well, here we go. For the next 31 days, I'm committing to write 500 words per day. My intention is to write them in this blog, but I reserve the right to publish somewhere else (or nowhere else) if I so desire.
What I'll be writing about, I have no idea. I was inspired by Jeff Goins's My 500 Words coach.me challenge, which is going to provide me with a new prompt for each of the next 30 days (today's prompt is to commit to this challenge). Whether I'll stick to those prompts is yet to be seen, but Lord knows I could use some external motivation to help me develop the writing habit.
I guess I can fill out my 500 words today by contemplating what has kept from writing these last 30 years. Yes, it's been at least 30 years that I've imagined myself as a writer struggling to find his voice. I'm not using the term in its vague literary connotation, but rather in a very literal sense. In these 30 years, while I have written hundreds of thousands of words that I was compelled to write by work or school, I have written practically nothing for myself. Yes, there's been the odd poem, and every once in a while I've shaken the cobwebs off of this blog, but in no way have I written enough unsolicited material to claim my voice as a writer.
So what's been holding me back? Certainly nothing extraordinary. The typical self-doubt about the value of anything I'd see fit to write; an unwillingness to take the risk or show any kind of vulnerability; the fear that I'd bore myself to tears, let alone another reader. Logically, I know these fears are irrational, or at least irrelevant. I know that a writer writes, and if that writer has any notion of art being a factor in the words materializing on the screen or page, then these misgivings should be put to rest without much of a fight. And yet I still don't write.
I'm not going to belabor the point any more tonight. Hopefully the next 30 days of writing will do more to dispel my fears than any amount of navel-gazing ever could. I guess we'll find out.