The Good Patrons of 750 Words

A Note of Inspiration from Patron Emily

1 cup

I’ve never written a Cup of Patronage note before. I joined the site about eight years ago, back when it was free. I liked the idea, sometimes I liked the actual writing; mostly I was frustrated because I could never be consistent in writing. I couldn’t be consistent in much of anything, actually, except in falling back into depression whenever I accidentally destroyed, through carelessness or indifference or ignorance or some mysterious curse, something I really cared about.

But ‘years of failure’ is kind of a pathetic note to start on. Let’s start over, not with where I was when I registered on this website, or where I was a few years ago, but where I am now:

I’d never written one hundred days in a row before last week. Until last year, I never knew that undiagnosed ADHD was the majority of what was crippling me in school, relationships, work, and interests. I’ve never been free truly free from depression for three whole months in a row, not since 2013. I still struggle with consistency, but writing on this site is part of my morning routine, my treatment, my life—and it helps. It helped me to figure out that I was depressed, back when I was a lonely and confused college freshman. It helped me to learn how to write quickly, even if that writing isn’t always very good. It continues to help me to become a better writer, a freer writer, a more interesting writer. It forces me to think about whatever failures or challenges I’m currently trying to run away from in my life.

I owe this site a lot. On the 750words.com servers are 560k words tracking my life and my mental health over eight years, which is a pretty nifty resource for when I want to time travel back to a younger and more confused version of myself. Even the inconsistent writing practice I’ve done here has helped with two novels I’ve drafted and a dozen other stories I’ve started. I used to promise myself that I’d be a less cheap person and become a patron of this site if I ever wrote a successful novel. The truth is—I don’t have to wait till I finish writing something good to declare victory from my ‘morning pages’ (ha! mostly ‘dead-of-night pages’). The victory is that I’m back in school, not hating myself and my life. The victory is that I’ve been consistent in this and a couple of other things for three whole months, which for someone with ADHD is an Apollo 11-level achievement.

This is success. I’m living a success story every day that I get up and take care of my body, mind, and soul. Someday I’m going to break that lovely writing streak, I feel sure—an emergency or sickness or laptop crisis will get in the way. When that day comes, I don’t think I’ll mind so very much. I’ve finally learned, finally proved to myself, that I can just get up and do it the next day, streak or no streak—because writing matters to me. Putting a little of my overwhelmed mind onto the page every day matters to me.

Words don’t really seem like enough of a ‘thank you’, but it feels like the right currency for this site. You have my unending gratitude, Buster and Kelliane, for creating something that’s truly been a major help to me.

Testimonial Note from Emily on Fri, May 17

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