Originally, I planned to commemorate the run-up to my 50th birthday by writing a letter a week to people who had been important to me in my life. I did about half a dozen, and even though it was very cool to re-establish communication with a number of folks I hadn’t been in touch with for a while, I got kind of lazy (that business of addressing envelopes and putting stamps on them really takes it out of you) and let that project languish.
Meanwhile, I had been writing a daily 327 word piece all last summer except for two days in August I missed and so, along about September, when I had a couple consecutive months under my belt, I thought I’d go ahead and see if I could keep it up 327 days in a row.
Sometimes it was tricky during the school year and on a handful of occasions, I wrote in my office, thereby (arguably) misusing Washington State taxpayer dollars, although I justified it by only writing pieces that had something to do with teaching and learning or school in general.
I wondered, at some point, whether my quest would earn me any renown, like this guy in Seattle who swam in Lake Washington every day for a year or Julia Powell, who cooked a Julia Child recipe every day for 365 days, but eventually, it became more about the practice, like playing scales on your instrument or doing yoga regularly.
I’m not sure it’s made me a better writer, but it has made me a more frequent one, which at least counts for something.
Larry wondered whether my life would become meaningless once I completed my self-appointed task; I worried about that, too, so now my plan is 327 essays per year.
That gives me another 147 in 2007.