There is something humble about the way you sneak into my life every day. A fleeting glimpse of the Space Needle out the bus window. The tap-tap-tap of a queen’s confident stride down a 2am street. A dazzle of pink spreading across the mountain-tipped sunrise. You slide unassumingly into my morning smile as I remember: I live here.
To think that it’s been a year already. A year of Orca Cards and coffee shops. Of library books and houseplants. Turbulant cycles of summer and rain. Every day I wake up feeling privledged. My morning tea comes wrapped in a felicitous notion of belonging.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved a city before. The picturesque cobbles of an old English town and the tolling of bells hung high in a Minster. There I learned how to live. I learned how to break my heart, how to forget. But here, with you Seattle, I’m learning to be. Just to be. Nothing more complicated.
Today is the 102nd day of 2017. In that time, I’ve written a measly two blog posts. Two. That means there have been 100 days this year that I haven’t posted anything. What a sad state. I had grand intentions of spending more time writing this year. Not only did I want to continue my passion for personal blogging, but also to explore the realm of short stories and poetry. Instead, I haven’t.
There are plenty of reasons why this is the case. If I am totally honest, none of them stands up to scrutiny. No matter how well-defended or how deeply felt, they are at their core just excuses. Here are a few of my favorites:
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.“
These wise words come from Nathaniel Hawthorne (maybe) and represent the essence of one of my two 2017 New Years Resolutions. Last year, I read a lot. I wrote some – mostly for work and on my personal blog. This year, I want to push myself further. I haven’t written a short story since high school. Fiction is not my forte. I firmly believe that writing broadly and without reservation will help me become both a better writer and a better reader. Reading and writing are essential parts of me – and they are both parts I want to continually build on. Therefore, in 2017 I resolve to write more – more blog posts, more short stories, more poetry. To help keep myself accountable, I intend to enter writing competitions and post my work here.
I must admit, my true inspiration for this New Years Resolution came from an unlikely source. Poo. More specifically, I was one of the winners of DefeatDD’s third Poo Haiku campaign. This was the first “writing competition” I’ve entered since elementary school – and it energized me. Winning was just the icing on the cake.
Seriously, I’m an award-winning poo-et. It’s my only claim to fame. Let me have it.
Unlike reading challenges or my 2017 fitness goal, my writing goals for this year are a bit more nebulous. There is an endless selection of writing competitions that take many different forms. I plan on trying my hand at a few different styles of writing and getting inspiration where I can. My hope is to enter at least one competition a month – but I’m not sure how realistic this is. Also, some competitions have restrictions about posting your entry before the winner is announced.
To circumvent this, I will likely post what Anne Lamott calls “short assignments.” It’s the same concept as eating an elephant one bite at a time – breaking down a larger story into a series of smaller components. I like the concept, and it seems like a good a place as any to start my hand at the great wide world of authorship.