This Is Why. (Day 206)

(photo credit: Norwich Street Art: Why do you do this? by markheybo on

New writing class tonight.

Instructor gives us ten minutes to write an essay that could be submitted to a writing blog. It had to be about either an issue we have with our writing or a revelation we’ve had. After the ten minutes, each of us would have to read our essay to the group and listen as they gave feedback.

The instructor set the timer.

I panicked.

No ideas. Lots of ideas. Have to write. No time to decide. Start writing.

The first thing that I wrote was . . .  never mind. I didn’t write about it because I’m sure it did not make sense. I crossed it out. The second thing that I wrote was “how writing a daily blog has changed me as a writer.” From there, I wrote and wrote and wrote, many more pages than anybody else in the class had when the alarm bell rang. Pencils down.

After I read my essay and received some feedback, one of the people in the class said that they kept waiting for me to say that I stopped writing the blog. That I gave up. There was a moment in the piece that I mention my desire to stop, to give up, but I explain what kept me going. Then another person said that they would have given up. They wondered what it was that drove me to keep going. One person even said that she thought blogs were dead and even if they weren’t what I was doing wasn’t really a blog. It was a diary and it should be private. (I won’t go into it here and I didn’t elaborate then, but I did respectfully disagree with her, and truth be told, I kind of wish I told her to go to hell after she insulted my 200+ days of hard work in one snide, misinformed public remark.)

So what did drive me to keep going? Was it the commitment? The fact that I made the commitment public. I like the stress of having to come up with an idea every single day?

I had answers, but I didn’t have a good one. Not then. But now I do.

It’s kind of obvious. I wish I’d thought of it then.

The 10 minute assignment provided the answer. In the past, I would have panicked and not recovered. I would have produced something, but I am certain it would not have a distinguishable form and function. However, today, after I panicked about my inability to think straight and come up with a clear idea, I  moved on pretty quickly. The work had to be done so I did it.

I credit 205 days of writing for others, and attempting to be at least somewhat interesting, with making it possible for me to write the essay I wrote for class. It was by no means submission-ready, but it had a beginning, middle and promise of an end, and the class found the subject one they would like to read about in a writing blog.

I think I may have just found the essay’s ending.



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4 thoughts on “This Is Why. (Day 206)

  1. It doesn’t really matter WHY you do it. It matters that you DO do it.

    And when someone asks “why”, there often is not one easily defined reason. Sometimes there are many reasons. Sometimes we are not even aware of some of the reasons.

    And there are results from following through on something you said you’d do. For instance, you learn about deadlines. You learn about Sticking To It. And, in your case Sara, I have noticed that your writing style is evolving. You seem more “immediate” than when you started over 200 days ago. I am really “hearing” your voice. That’s another thing. Doing your “assignment” Every Single Day, develops your Voice.

    And that’s very cool!

    1. Suzanne — Thank you so much for all you said in this note. I do feel like I’ve grown a lot as a writer and in confidence these past 200 days. Sometimes I try too hard to make sense out of things instead of letting things be. Being able to name something is not as important as something happening that may or may not be able to be named. (does that make sense?)

So what do you think?