The Relevance of Numbers
15, 30, 30, 50000. It's not a math quiz, an equation, a code or the combination to the safe housing a secret fortune. It's not the winning lottery numbers either. I suppose they could be any of these things but a) I'm not psychic and b) I'm no mathematical genius. But these numbers are symbolic. They do mean something. They have relevance to me.
15: The number of posts that I have managed to write since January of 2015.
This number pales in comparison to what other writers have churned out, but this isn't about other writers. It's about the chapters that have led me right here to this place. This digital stratosphere, where for the past 20+ months I have put aside my fear and shared my inner most thoughts for anyone to see. I was scared as hell to hit that publish button the first time. And the second time, and even the third time. Practice makes me better. Or at least I hope so anyway. And even if it doesn't, the point is that I am trying. And for me, that's better than not having done it at all.
A few months ago I wasn't even sure I could get to 10 or 12 posts, but something kept nudging me forward. Of course it helps that I am continually surrounded by other great writers who inspire me with their talent and their love for words (Sarah Elkins Aaron Skogen, Trent Selbrede, Donna-Luisa - to name a few). They have guided me, encouraged me, and supported me each step of the way.
I wrote my first post from a place deep within my heart that was broken and sad. I was grieving the loss of my mom and writing was the one thing that gave me comfort. Little did I know that post would be the catalyst for re-discovering my love for writing. Through writing, I found catharsis and slowly I began to peel back my own layers only to reveal a side of me that had been patiently waiting for a chance to spread her wings.
30: The number of minutes each day that I intend to spend writing.
I committed to this 2 years ago and failed. I wasn't ready. I was afraid. I thought that I didn't have anything of value to say. I doubted my own talent and creativity. Others may doubt it too and some may not even care for my writing, but I have to cast this aside and follow my heart. I have to try. Again. I never really started before. But this time is different. I know it. I feel it. I'm going with it. This time I have a direction. I have confidence. And even though I don't have a clue as to how to really do this, I know why I should do it. Because I owe it to myself to take that plunge, to give the thoughts in my head the escape that they need, and to prove to myself that I can do this.
30: The number of days that I have committed to Nanowrimo to write my novel.
I have committed to this goal and I am doing it. It was such a great escape today to expend a half hour to harnessing creativity, and to pick up where I left off in May. That's when I wrote the first couple of pages of a story that was brewing in my head. When I re-read it today, I smiled. I told my colleague, who is participating in the Nanowrimo challenge with me, that I had no idea how to write a novel. She said she didn't either. So we are just going with it. I am just going with it. I'm letting the words flow freely and who knows where this chapter will lead me.
It's about more than the writing though. It's about commitment. It's about setting a goal and taking actionable steps to achieve it. It's about intention and devoting time to a craft that I truly enjoy - one that is really who I am outside of my normal 8-5. This is where I feel most at home - with my fingers to the keyboard unleashing what's in my heart and soul. Surrounded by silence and soothed by the sound of the keys clicking beneath my fingers and satiated by the words materializing before my eyes.
50,000: The total number of words to write during the month of November.
At first sight, it is a lot to digest. I admit that for a brief moment this morning I thought "how in the heck am I going to pull this off?" Then I did what I tend to do with other challenges that can seem overwhelming to me: I broke it down into bite size chunks. It's equivalent to writing a long form post per day; perhaps a little more. Now, I could find a million reasons to rationalize my way out of it. Okay, maybe a million is an exaggeration but you get my point. We can always find an excuse - a reason not to do something. So how about a reason to do something? And why not? What have I got to lose? My sanity? Maybe, but I think I lost some marbles a while ago. And I wish to hell someone would return them to me if they find them.
When I think about this adventure that commenced today, I believe it is more of a case of nothing to lose and everything to gain. I wasn't able to see it that way two years ago. But then again, I wasn't ready to either. Maybe it's like Karthik Rajan says...maybe it is about connecting the dots. Finding that "aha" moment. Eventually, it comes together. Eventually, the pieces of the puzzle paint a beautiful picture. Or maybe they don't. And if they don't, the important thing is that I tried. I chose not to sit idle and wonder "what if?" I choose to move forward and see. For all the times I've been knocked down, doubted, tattered and torn, I've continued to get back up (sometimes with a little help from another) and put one foot in front of the other. If I can find strength in my darkest moments and use my resilience to keep writing new chapters, then I can certainly muster the discipline and energy to do this.
I don't know what may come from this adventure but I will not sell myself short either. I've been down that road before and it led me to a dead end. Thankfully, I was able to turn myself around and find new inroads. And so here I am. Nearing the end of day 1 of this journey. I'm close to hitting my word goal for the day, I've managed to write this post tonight, and published one on Monday too. It feels good to have my creativity back. I'm pretty sure it was always there. I just needed to come out of my shell.
There's the relevance in my numbers. What are yours? What numbers have been relevant to you over the years?
Writing from the heart...always.
Thank you for reading. Comments, shares, likes, and Tweets, are always appreciated. Whatever you choose to do, I'm just glad you stopped by.
© 2016 Laura Mikolaitis