This post is a bit meta. It’s written from the point of view of a writer who has just completed a month long writing project, not unlike me and this year’s NaBloPoMo 😉
When I make a commitment, I generally like to be able to honour it. It’s a flaw in my character that I measure other people on their ability to keep theirs. This particular commitment is an unusual one, because I have made this promise to no one but myself. No one would care if I kept it or not. No one except me, and the measurements I take. How can I hold others to account if I cannot keep my word, even to myself?
My promise was this: to write every day during the month of November. The promise was self-serving: I had forgotten how to write and I needed a way to remember. Yes, I wrote papers and articles and reports for work, and letters and the like, but my creative light had dimmed, wick burned low. The act of putting pen to paper, of giving voice to an idea, of letting the words trip and turn and fall out of me, of following the flow of a thread to see where it would end, well, that had almost died.
The commitment I made – to write every day during the month of November – has been honoured and completed. Today is the last day. I have reclaimed my creative voice, rebuilt its atrophied muscle, and written myself strong. The words were there all along, standing to attention, waiting to be called up for active duty. So were the ideas, the sergeants of the exercise, issuing orders to the tactics room of phrases. They were ready for deployment, the words falling into line. No questions asked.
So what happens now? Now that this commitment had been honoured, is complete? A new promise must be made and kept. One that sees me continue to write. To build the inner voice so it is strong and clear and powerful. To write loudly, and with pride so this voice is heard above all kinds of meaningless din and clatter and noise. A pure voice. A truthful one.
That is my new promise. I make it to no one but myself.